Traffic Island Gardens

PVCA is a proud steward of our public spaces.  Our Traffic Triangles have become ecological Island Gardens supporting pollinators and welcoming residents and visitors alike

 
 

July 2018 - The Bryn Mawr and Old Gulph traffic island exemplifies ecological garden design.

TRAFFIC island @ Bryn Mawr ave and Old gulph rd

In the spring and summer of 2015, Penn Valley Civic advanced a rehabilitation of our largest traffic triangle.  Non-native and invasive species were removed and native species were planted.  Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii) was chosen for the sunny front edge along Bryn Mawr Avenue and Blue wood aster (Symphiotrichum cordifolum) and dwarf Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia 'Sike's Dwarf') were selected for the back shady section.  

Civic volunteers have since spent hundreds of volunteer hours weeding and planting more native wildflowers.  After 3 years, the plantings have reached mature size and no longer require mulch.  Plants are tightly knit as you would find in nature to help prevent weeds and cool the soil temperature.  New introductions include Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Eastern bee balm (Monarda didyma 'Jacob Kline'), Golden ragwort (Packera aurea) and American coral bells (Heuchera americana 'Dale's Strain).  Get close enough, and you'll hear the pollinators buzzing!  We're proud that these plantings example the beauty of native American plants throughout the growing season.  Native plants are uniquely suited to provide ecosystem services including larval hosts for butterfly species, habitat for pollinators, food for birds and stormwater management through deep roots.  Interested in learning more about native plants and how you can incorporate more wildlife value in your own landscape?  See this link.

Our biggest challenge with this island is the number of vehicles that run over our pathway every year.  For this reason, please be patient if it doesn't always look perfect.  Vehicle collisions create a lot of disturbed soil, and it takes time to re-establish plantings.  We've added 2 reflector poles to aid in visibility of the front corner.  See the photos below for an up-close view of individual species.   Want to join the volunteer garden team?  We'd love to have you!  Email pennvalleycivic@gmail.com

 Our part-shade, medium-sized traffic island with tightly knit native plantings kept short for good visibility.

Our part-shade, medium-sized traffic island with tightly knit native plantings kept short for good visibility.

Traffic island @ Hagys Ford Road and Righter's Mill Road

In the fall of 2015, PVCA officers enthusiastically renovated our little traffic triangle near Penn Valley Elementary.  We chose native perennials that will provide wildlife value and multi-season interest as well as maintain driver visibility at this sometimes challenging intersection.  The plants in this island stand up to road salt, regular deer browse and occasional utility work.  Reflective stickers were placed on the pole to help prevent car collisions at night, a problem in the past.  Volunteers regularly maintain this island.  You'll see the following native perennials:

Traffic Island at Centennial and Righters Mill

 Expert gardeners and tireless PVCA garden volunteers, Ellen Briggs and June Lauer work to add new plantings to our smallest traffic island.

Expert gardeners and tireless PVCA garden volunteers, Ellen Briggs and June Lauer work to add new plantings to our smallest traffic island.

This little island could use a break from the number of cars and trucks that run over it every year.  In the spring of 2017, garden volunteers, Michelle Detwiler, Ellen Briggs and June Lauer weeded this garden and planted plugs of golden ragwort, a deer-resistant, native evergreen ground cover.  (Thanks to Ellen for donating plugs from the thriving garden at Penn Valley's own West Mill Creek Park!)  We continued to pull weeds while it filled in, but a truck ran over the island and eliminated over half the new plantings.  This island will no longer get maintenance attention beyond a regular cutting back.  Email us at pennvalleycivic@gmail.com if you'd like to help with maintenance of this garden.  We'd love to hear from a neighbor close to this location willing to keep an eye on it.