Saving the Environment, One Snip at a Time

EnlargeDonated compost material.

Nearly 40,000 grasses, perennials, trees, and shrubs inhabit Section 1 of the High Line, and each plant gets cut back in the spring to allow for new growth. Instead of treating the clippings as garbage, our gardeners have been busy developing ways to reuse them.

We recently met with the NYC Compost Project at the Lower East Side Ecology Center and La Plaza Cultural's community garden in the East Village to learn about different methods of composting.

Like much of the High Line, our composting approach is, ahem, cutting edge.

Here's how it works. In a traditional garden, compost mixture is spread directly over existing soil. Because of the High Line's decorative layer of gravel mulch, we cannot spread compost straight into the beds. Instead, we create a "compost tea" from the clippings and disperse it into the planting beds in its liquid form.

Right now, our program is still in its beginning stages. We have been donating the park's compostable materials that we can't use to La Plaza Cultural (pictured above) and New York City Department of Sanitation's Fresh Kills compost facility on Staten Island.

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