Howell Green Team volunteers work to restore the Easy Street Wildlife Site

HOWELL — Howell Green Team volunteers recently cleared an overgrown site and made improvements to an area that provides wildlife habitat.

The Easy Street Community Wildlife Habitat is a joint project of the Howell Environmental Commission, the Howell Shade Tree Commission and the Howell Green Team, according to volunteer and Green Team member Lisa Doud.

Doud said the project site on Easy Street is in an existing municipal open space.

“For a number of years the site was underused and had become overrun with a variety of invasive plants,” Doud said.

According to Doud, the green team recently received a $2,000 grant from
PSEG/Sustainable Jersey to integrate a pollinator garden on the Easy Street site.

According to the website gardeningknowhow.com, “A pollinator garden is a garden that attracts bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, or other beneficial creatures that transfer pollen from flower to flower or, in some cases, to the ‘inside flowers’.

Volunteers from the Environmental Commission and the Shade Tree Commission removed the invasive plants from the site on May 14, Doud said, and are “collaborating with an ongoing revitalization effort to plant native trees, plants and shrubs to benefit local wildlife and establish beneficial ecosystems.

“Together with the Howell Public Works Department, township officials and community volunteers, we are working to convert Howell’s open space into a
community wildlife habitat and progress towards obtaining certification from the National Wildlife Federation.

“Our plans are to pursue the next phase of native plantings to fully restore ecosystems
which will provide adequate supplies of food, shelter and nesting areas for the birds,” Doud explained. “In the future, we will continue to plant and nurture additional native plants,
trees and shrubs. »

The Shade Tree Commission is looking for community volunteers to plant and mulch trees and shrubs and create a walking trail.

The National Wildlife Federation’s Community Wildlife Habitat program partners with cities, counties and neighborhoods to create healthier, greener and more wildlife-friendly ecosystems.

Community wildlife habitats are planned to include gardens and landscaping with wildlife in mind and to promote the use of native trees and plants, help reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides and chemicals and incorporate wildlife-friendly practices into park sustainability plans and master plans.

Municipalities can achieve community-wide certification by working to certify individual properties, including homes, parks, schools, businesses, and other areas of the community as Certified Wildlife Habitat .

Efforts can include engaging community members in habitat restoration projects and providing resources such as lists of native plants.

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