From vacant lot to restored meadow, this rapid rewilding project in Hyde Park was a great success that brought ecological function to a formerly inert space. First, we spread compost over the 0.3 acre planting area in order to create a rich soil layer for the plants to come. Then, we installed a straw wattle border around the area in order to control any future erosion. Lastly, we spread a diverse mix of native herbaceous species that included little bluestem, switchgrass, brown eyed susan, yellow coneflower, annual rye, and mammoth red clover. The clover does the important work of stabilizing and enriching the soil via rapid spread and nitrogen fixation. Then, the wildflowers can emerge in a brilliant display. We hope that our project will serve as a demonstration of an affordable and easy method for revitalizing empty urban spaces with functioning ecological habitats. At only $0.50 per square foot, restoration projects like this one could (un)pave the way to greener communities.
Check back here again in a year or two for updated photographs of the project.