Whitemarsh Greenhouse & Gardening Program
WHITEMARSH TOWNSHIP GREENHOUSE PROGRAM
The Greenhouse Program is an all-volunteer collaboration with Whitemarsh Township. The focus of the group is to promote healthy ecosystems and provide habitat for wildlife while beautifying our gardens and open spaces.
The Whitemarsh Township Greenhouse in Koontz Park at 2391 Harts Lane is the hub of our activities. From late winter through spring we propagate a wide variety of native plants to use in public spaces around our Township. Additional plants are grown for sharing in our community outreach and education events, plus a few more for volunteers to take home.
As weather warms we move our activities outdoors to plant and maintain the gardens throughout Koontz Park, as well as two garden beds in Leeland Park at North Lane and Jones Street. With our demonstration gardens we seek to introduce the public to a broad variety of native plants, their growing conditions, and their benefit to the environment.
Winter is spent planning our activities for the coming year, which often include special projects and events aimed at interacting with the community at large. Our activities evolve as the gardens change, new opportunities and challenges arise, and new members bring fresh ideas to the table. We encourage you to check in with us frequently to see what we’re doing.
All volunteers are welcome, regardless of skill level. We take great pleasure in sharing what we know and learning from one another. Please join us as your schedule allows. We meet weekly throughout most of the year. Check our calendar regularly as our meeting time and location is subject to change.
If you are interested in joining our team please contact the Parks and Recreation Offices at
610-828-7276 or at e-mail.
GERMANTOWN PIKE POLLINATOR CORRIDOR
In 2014 the Greenhouse Program embarked on a project collaborating with local businesses and organizations in Whitemarsh Township along Germantown Pike. Our goal was to provide a selection of native plants for these members of our community to add to their existing gardens to both beautify their outdoor spaces and provide food and habitat for pollinating insects and birds. A busy commercial area might seem an unlikely location for supporting wildlife but habitat can be provided anywhere. We chose this part of our Township for our trial program, as it is very visible in the community and lacked the specific kinds of plants we hoped to introduce – native plants which are crucial to the life cycles of native insects, butterflies, and other wildlife. Planting small areas that are relatively close to each other allows wildlife the chance to move from one area to another to find sufficient food, mates, overall improving their chance of survival. Every one of these small lives plays a supporting role in the web of life on which we ourselves depend.Starting in March we propagated most of the plants for the project from seed in the Greenhouse. Hundreds of plants were watered, potted, and nurtured until ready for planting in the spring. Other plants provided were divisions donated from our members’ personal gardens. A few special cultivars were added, left over from those purchased by the Township for use in Koontz Park plantings. Plants and layouts were provided to participating businesses, and then it was up to them to install and care for the plants. The Greenhouse Group will continue to offer guidance as needed for future maintenance when requested.The project was a learning experience for everyone involved! While some areas were more successful than others, we were very pleased to see some very encouraging results. We are eager to watch as the gardens settle and fill out in the coming season. Please take the time to visit and appreciate the enhanced gardens at the following locations. Barren Hill Volunteer Fire Company, Lafayette Auto Care and Persian Grill. We (and our local wildlife) would like to extend a warm thanks to all of these organizations for their cooperation, hard work, and dedication!