BLOOMFIELD, NJ – The entrance to Bloomfield at Ampere Parkway is about to become a lot more vibrant with the addition of an experimental wildflower garden made possible by the Bloomfield Beautification Committee. Born out of an idea by committee members and avid gardeners, Mike Loconte and Susana Sotillo, members of the committee spent Saturday morning working alongside Bloomfield DPW (with traffic control assistance from Bloomfield Public Safety) preparing the area for planting, which will take place in a few weeks.
“We’re using a no-till method of gardening,” explained Loconte. “The no till method simply means that you do not turn over the soil when planting. Research has found that by tilling the soil it actually stirs up weed seeds and allows them to grow freely. So instead, you put down cardboard to stop weeds from growing, then add some good top soil and organic matter on top of it. Then plant the seeds as you usually would. Its going to be interesting to see how it turns out. Thanks to Councilwoman Mundell, for moving this project forward, and our DPW department for all their help. Special Thanks to our Beautification Committee Chairwoman Susan Moseson and her husband, Rich, for their overwhelming dedication and hard work.”
In a few weeks, once the soil has compacted naturally, the committee will return to plant wildflower seeds, using the Garden State Wildflower Cosmos mix, a seed mix specially designed to withstand a harsher environment along roadways.
According to Loconte, “If you are unfamiliar with Cosmos flowers, if you’ve driven on the Parkway and saw those fields of purple, pink, yellow, and white flowers, that’s what they are.”
If the gardening experiment is successful, the committee will consider deploying it in other areas of town as well.
“The Beautification Committee continues to take on projects to improve and enhance our community,” says Councilwoman Jenny Mundell, liaison to the committee. “As always, I am grateful for their contributions and volunteerism and look forward to seeing this new garden in bloom.”
The Beautification Committee’s projects have also included planting native, perennial gardens outside the Children’s Library, Civic Center, and the triangle at N 15th Street, with plans to continue to identify areas in town where they can create welcoming and attractive spaces. In addition, the Committee hosts town-wide cleanups in the spring and fall, with then next cleanup scheduled for April 30. More information and registration can be found at https://tinyurl.com/2022BloomSpringClean