Spring Cutback: We've Reached the Halfway Point

Work continues as our staff and volunteers move north, trimming back plant material to make way for spring growth. Photo by Annik La Farge.
 

We have just completed our fourth week of High Line Spring Cutback.

Spring Cutback is an intense six-week-long undertaking that involves trimming back the High Line’s wild grasses, perennials, and shrubs to make way for new spring growth. It’s our biggest horticultural task of the year and High Line Gardeners couldn’t do it without the help of a dedicated group of volunteers.

Stop by the park and see the transformation underway, and follow us after the jump for an update on our recent work.

Over the past two weeks, we tackled the northern end of the park, between West 23rd and West 28th Streets, as well as the Chelsea Thicket, between West 20th and West 22nd Streets. Cutting back the grasses and perennials in the Chelsea Thicket is slow and delicate work, requiring us to move carefully around the densely-planted trees and new bulbs popping up amidst the tufts of grasses.

To help us complete the task, we were joined by a group of teens from the New York City LAB School for Collaborative Studies, a local high school near the High Line, as well as volunteers from REI, Toyota, and UNIQLO, the apparel retailer with new corporate offices above the High Line at West 14th Street. We would like to extend a special thank you to the volunteers. We enjoyed getting to know everyone, and we greatly appreciate the help and support.

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When you visit the High Line this week, you will find new green growth and early spring blooms amidst the tufts to trimmed-back grass. You will also see High Line Gardeners working their way north, cutting back more grasses and perennials while paying careful attention to the tulips and other spring bulbs that have popped up.

As we do every week, all the dried organic material removed from the planting beds was taken to the Department of Sanitation’s Fresh Kills Composting Facility, an impressive large-scale municipal composting operation. You can read more about it on Livin' the High Line, a blog written by High Line neighbor and volunteer Annik La Farge. Annik joined us on a trip to Fresh Kills last Thursday, and her blog features a beautiful photo essay on the cycle of plant material, from park to compost. Below are a few of our favorites.

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