Spring Cutback: Week Two

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Author: 
Erika Harvey
This week, we trimmed back the majority of the dried grasses and plant stalks in the Wildflower Field, on the High Line between West 27th and West 29th Streets. Pictured here are High Line Gardeners Mark and Maeve working beneath the towering JR mural at West 29th Street. Photo by Mike Tschappat

We have just completed the second 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 second week of Spring Cutback after the jump.

A view of the team cleaning up after cutting back the dried grasses in the Wildflower Field, looking south near West 27th Street. The colored flags mark plants that aren’t trimmed back, such as the early spring crocus. Photo by Joan Garvin
This week our gardeners were joined by 75 volunteers, including teams from Google and HR&A, with Spring Cutback. Photos by Joan Garvin
Staff and volunteers employ large and small pruning shears and scissors to trim back grasses to their base. Cutting back the plants helps maximize new growth by making room for sunlight to reach the ground, where early spring bulbs are starting to emerge. Photo by Joan Garvin
This week staff and volunteers cleared almost 50 lawn bags of plant material, or about 20 cubic yards! Photo by Friends of the High Line
(Left) It’s a team effort! High Line Volunteer Lebasi and High Line Seasonal Gardener Adam work together to tackle the giant tufts of grass. (Right) We caught High Line Seasonal Gardener Jason with smile as he dropped dried plant material into the lawn bag. Once filled, these giant white bags are brought to the Department of Sanitation's Fresh Kills Composting Facility, where the plant material is then turned into compost for gardens around New York City. Photos by Friends of the High Line
While the High Line’s plants may seem dormant this time of year, new spring growth is preparing for the season ahead just below the surface of the soil, and it’s more important than ever to keep foot traffic on the pathway. Photo by Friends of the High Line
A couple of the dedicated volunteers who joined us this week. (Left) High Line Volunteer Nicole works with High Line Gardener Rafael to tackle the dried grasses in the Wildflower Field. (Right) High Line Volunteer Amy unloads a full bucket of trimmed grasses. Photos by Friends of the High Line
up at the end of Monday’s shift. Photo by Friends of the High Line
A group shot of the Monday afternoon crew. Photo by Joan Garvin
Spring Cutback takes some muscle power! High Line Volunteers Margaret (left) and Gammy (right) are captured in action. Photo by Mike Tschappat
As we trimmed back the grasses on Wednesday, we uncovered a new crocus variety that we have not seen in bloom yet. Stop by the park between West 28th and West 30th Streets to see Crocus chrysanthus 'Ard Schenk,' a snow-white bloom with yellow stamen. Photo by Mike Tschappat
The Wednesday afternoon at the end of their shift. Thank you all for your help this week! Photo by Mike Tschappat
Early Thursday morning, volunteers from Google joined High Line Gardeners to trim back dried grasses around Thomas Houseago’s Lying Figure, at West 13th Street. Thanks to Google’s help, we were able to clear the dried grasses around the giant art installation just in time for its de-installation today. Photo by Friends of the High Line
Kerry, a Google volunteer, and High Line Gardener Maeve. Corporate volunteer days are a benefit of supporting our largest horticultural initiative of the year. Photo by Friends of the High Line
The cool season grasses can already be seen popping up in the southern section of the park. Photo by Friends of the High Line
On Thursday afternoon, a large group of volunteers from HR&A joined us, tackling the remaining beds just south of West 13th Street. Photo by Beverly Israely
High Line Gardener Kevin works with a volunteer from HR&A. Photo by Beverly Israely
In addition to taking photographs for Friends of the High Line, High Line Volunteer Beverly also acted as the High Line’s first guest Instagrammer on Thursday. See Beverly’s photo posts from the day by following @highlinenyc on Instagram. Photo by Friends of the High Line
Great job, volunteers from HR&A! Photo by Beverly Israely