Wednesday, May 6, 2009

First Flowering of the West Cemetery Landscape Restoration

Last fall, the Historical Commission launched the landscape restoration phase of the West Cemetery Preservation Plan (1999), as members of the Stockbridge School fraternity Alpha Tau Gamma donated and planted grape hyacinth bulbs, barrenwort, and other spring-flowering perennials.

A month ago, the new growth appeared--about the same time as the first daffodil shoots broke the soil next to Emily Dickinson's gravestone (below)

and 23,000 new daffodil bulbs sprouted on public and private properties all over town. The bulb planting, a project of the 250th Anniversary Committee, was the brainchild of Dolly Jolly. Students from the Stockbridge School were likewise involved in this planting project last fall. (Here, a planting by Bev Ziomek, down the street from us on Route 63 this week.)

And this weekend, the warm weather finally brought out the first flowers, just in time for the West Cemetery Walk (coverage to follow), organized in conjunction with the town's 250th anniversary celebrations.

The planting was a pilot project, intended to give visitors a taste of what the full meadow restoration might look like, and to add one more festive touch to the 250th events. This month, the Historical Commission will bring a proposal for funding of the first full phase of the restoration effort to Annual Town Meeting. (Detailed coverage of all of our proposals on the warrant will follow on these pages. Selecting the rubrics ("labels") of this posting will bring up all the relevant pieces.)

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