Spring Cutback: Week One

High Line Gardeners and volunteers work to clear leaf litter and dried grasses from the High Line’s planting beds near Little West 12th Street. Photo by Liz Ligon

We have just completed the first week of High Line Spring Cutback!

The High Line’s plants are not trimmed back at the onset of cold weather in the fall. Instead the landscape is left intact to provide structure, beauty, and habitat throughout the winter. As spring arrives, Friends of the High Line staff and volunteers work together to cut back the plants to make way for new green growth. This horticultural effort, called High Line Spring Cutback, takes place throughout the entire month of March.

See more photos from our first week of Spring Cutback after the jump.

High Line Spring Cutback would not be possible without our dedicated volunteers. Here volunteers Cynthia and Harvey prep for their shift by putting on their gloves and readying their shears. Photo by Liz Ligon
During Spring Cutback, dried grasses are trimmed to make room for new green growth. We start at the southern end, where cool season grasses and sedges are already sending up green shoots. Here volunteer Heather clears leaf litter from the planting bed. Photo by Liz Ligon
This week staff and volunteers were able to trim back almost all of the planting beds between Gansevoort and West 14th Streets. The group on Monday afternoon tackled the planting beds just south of The Standard, High Line. Photo by Liz Ligon
A couple of the wonderful volunteers, (left) Ilkay and (right) Lebasi, who braved the chilly weather to help out during Spring Cutback. High Line Gardeners were supported by 37 individual volunteers who logged over 125 hours this week. Photo by Liz Ligon
Spring Cutback is a community effort and a great time for High Line Gardeners to connect with volunteers to work together and care for the High Line. Photo by Liz Ligon
Superstar volunteers Nicholas and Kim are involved in many areas of the organization. You’ll catch them leading tours and assisting visitors at the Field Station in the spring and summer seasons. Photo by Liz Ligon
High Line staff and volunteers trim back the grasses around Thomas Houseago’s High Line Art installation, Lying Figure, allowing the massive bronze sculpture to soak up even more springtime sunshine. Photo by Liz Ligon
High Line Gardener Erin takes a moment to answer a visitor’s question. Many passersby are curious about Spring Cutback activities and it’s a great way to discuss the unique four-season planting design of the park. Photo by Liz Ligon
Around 15 – 20 cubic yards of dried plant matter were trimmed from the High Line this week. This organic material is sent to the Department of Sanitation's Fresh Kills Composting Facility where it will be turned into compost that will be used around the city. High Line Gardeners are also working to expand our on-site composting system so we should be able to compost more Spring Cutback plant material at the High Line this year. Photo by Liz Ligon
Birch trees punctuate the landscape of the High Line after staff and volunteers have completed trimming back the grasses and removing the leaf litter. Hints of green cool season grasses and crocuses can already be seen popping up. Photo by Liz Ligon
A group shot of the staff and volunteer crew from Monday’s afternoon shift. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped out this week! Photo by Liz Ligon

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