Recent visitors to three of OLC's Preserves will notice a dramatic change as the meadows in Lorimer, Cool Valley and Cedar Hollow received their annual mowing on April 18th and 19th. Mowing is an important component of our Preserve management plans. It controls woody invasive vegetation such as multi-flora rose, olive and honeysuckle and makes space for herbaceous perennials such as goldenrod, milkweed and the occasional joe pye weed that grace the meadows in the summer.
Our neighbors in Valley Forge Park have been using prescribed fire in their meadows. While that is an appealing natural process, it requires expensive professional expertise and is not a solution for the small Conservancy meadows, hemmed in by residences and woodlands.
So we rely on neighbors and professionals to mow the meadows in early Spring. Although we have received excellent service from our contractor Lentzcaping in recent years, this year we found a supplier, All Seasons Landscaping of Acton, with equipment that is both voracious and speedy. All Seasons clears roadside vegetation for PennDoT during the summer, and the side and rear flail mowers attached to a tractor make quick work of our meadows, too.
The only challenge came in the unusually wet south meadow in the Cedar Hollow Preserve. The tractor proved too heavy for the saturated ground at the lowest point and had to be pulled from the mud by a tracked skid steer. This was clearly not this first hiccup for long time All Seasons employee Bill Ruh, though. He was unfazed and finished both Cedar Hollow meadows as thoroughly and carefully as the others.
While All Seasons does the bulk of the Conservancy meadow mowing, we also recognize the service provided by long time neighbor Bud Coleman to mow the east Lorimer meadows and the contribution of neighbor and board member Art Blumenthal to the south meadow in Valley Creek Preserve. Many thanks to all involved and to the members that make this possible!