The plant selection on the High Line favors native, drought-tolerant, and low-maintenance species, cutting down on the resources that go into the landscape. The High Line’s ecosystem also provides food and shelter for wildlife species, including native pollinators. Learn more about the benefits of native trees on our blog, or download our native plant guide to explore the character, beauty, and utility of these important plants.
New York is home to more than 400 species of wild bees and we strive to make the High Line as welcoming as possible for these tiny visitors. While we put out “bee hotels” to give shelter to native bees, we also leave natural shelter sources in place, like fallen plant debris and dried plant stalks and stems. We additionally look to have as many endemic species of plants as possible to provide high-quality food sources, and we avoid the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers or nurseries that employ them. Learn more about wild bees on our blog.
Whenever possible, we source materials from within a 100-mile radius. Almost half of the High Line’s plants are native species, and many were produced by local growers, which are better adapted to grow successfully in our climate—reducing the amount of plant failure and replacement costs.
The High Line’s drip irrigation system, which mirrors the design of green roofs, allows the planting beds to retain as much water as possible. Combined with the drought-tolerance of many of our plants, our gardens need little supplemental watering. When we do water, we do it by hand, paying attention to the needs of individual species and weather conditions and conserving overall. Additionally, this intricate drainage system also reduces storm-water runoff by up to 80%, and tempers the flow of excess water into the sewer system. Read more about the mechanics of this sustainable infrastructure over on our blog.
We use recycled green waste in our gardening, and we compost all of our garden waste on-site, reducing the amount of material entering the waste stream and eliminating the need for energy-intensive transport to a separate compost facility. Composting also recycles valuable nutrients back into our garden soil, so we can avoid commercial fertilizer.
The High Line is committed to avoiding pesticides or chemical fertilizers. We follow an Integrated Pest Management program, which starts by ensuring our plants are well-adapted to the climate, and that they stay healthy and pest-resistant. At the sign of any pest or disease, we tailor the most appropriate and conservative response—sometimes even hand-removing pests and infested plant materials. Learn more about IPM on our blog.
We ensure our maintenance is environmentally sound by purchasing Green Seal-certified cleaning solutions and post-consumer paper products for our recurring maintenance needs.
The elevated, narrow structure of the High Line is affected by high winds, and the path freezes quickly—unique conditions that can make snow removal challenging. Following a storm, we create a safe walking path by removing snow by hand, with shovels as well as power equipment. As needed, we apply an eco-friendly ice melting product that is safe for plants and the environment.
Lead Program support for Horticulture on the High Line is provided by Amanda M. Burden.
High Line Gardens are supported by Greenacre Foundation.
High Line Accessibility is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne Adams.
The Volunteer Program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Council.