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Photo by Rowa Lee Photo by Rowa Lee

Spring Cutback

Spring Cutback is one of our most important team-building exercises, strengthening the relationship between us, our supporters, and our gardens. At the High Line, we leave our displays of dried leaves, stalks, and seedheads standing through the winter, providing habitat for birds and other animals.

To make room for new spring growth, horticulture volunteers join our gardeners every March to complete the massive task of cutting back our plants by hand, to be composted and returned to the soil.

Learn about volunteering

 

Spring Cutback is one of our most important team-building exercises, strengthening the relationship between us, our supporters, and our gardens. At the High Line, we leave our displays of dried leaves, stalks, and seedheads standing through the winter, providing habitat for birds and other animals.

To make room for new spring growth, horticulture volunteers join our gardeners every March to complete the massive task of cutting back our plants by hand, to be composted and returned to the soil.

Learn about volunteering

 

Composting & Debris

We’re proud to be composting 100% of our plant material—which allows us to generate healthy food for our plants and soil organisms.

Recycling plant debris into our plant beds as mulch, compost, and compost tea enables last year’s growth to foster the health of our gardens this year. This process will mimic the natural decomposition of plant life—and subsequent nutrient uptake by new plants—that would take place in a wild landscape.

During this busy Spring Cutback season, you may notice that we’re leaving some plants and leaf litter in-place. We made this change because more than 20 species of wild bees make their homes on the High Line—and some species are so tiny that they spend winter inside plant stems no wider than coffee stirrers! Spiders, ladybugs, lacewings, and others live here, too, and help our gardens by eating harmful pests. By keeping dead plant material around, we’re protecting the homes of these precious pollinators and pest-eaters.

Volunteer

As a Spring Cutback volunteer you will join an enthusiastic and dedicated team, work side-by-side with High Line gardeners to shear back grasses and perennials using pruners and scissors, and help us prepare for a lush, beautiful growing season.

**Update: All Spring Cutback volunteer spots for 2020 have been filled. We encourage you to apply to volunteer next year.**

How to become a Spring Cutback volunteer
To become a High Line volunteer & join us for Spring Cutback, please fill out an application. If you have any questions about Spring Cutback or our Volunteer Program, please email volunteers@thehighline.org.

To participate in Spring Cutback, you must attend one training session in February or have been a horticulture partner in 2019. We ask that you commit to two Spring Cutback shifts between March 4 and March 26. The volunteer shifts will be held from 9 – 10:30am and 12:30 – 2pm on Wednesdays, and 9 – 10:30am on Thursdays. Volunteers must be 18 or older.

High Line Members
If you are a High Line member and are interested in volunteer opportunities, please contact Joel Alter at joel.alter@thehighline.org.

Corporate Supporters
We welcome corporate support. If your company is interested in supporting Spring Cutback or volunteering, please email corporatesupport@thehighline.org.

Help us spread the word about this core program by sharing your story. Use the hashtag #SpringCutback to share your experience, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @highlinenyc.

 

Adopt a Plant

Be part of the deep care and effort that goes into keeping the High Line wild—and open for everyone. Adopt a High Line plant, and you’ll help keep our gardens thriving all year long.

Choose a plant

Support

TD Bank is the Presenting Green Sponsor of the High Line.

The High Line Spring Cutback Program is supported, in part, by REI.

The Volunteer Program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Council.