The Cemetery's Historic Landscape–About Mowing
Before Memorial Day, we will mow grass and invasive species in areas where no colonies of sensitive native plant species exist. Camassia, Micranthes and Sidalcea are a few examples of plants we’ll leave undisturbed so they can finish their annual life cycle of blooming and setting seed, further preserving our native habitat. These areas left untouched will also serve as important wildlife habitat for our ground nesting birds, such as the Spotted Towhee.
Our original policy of mowing once annually resulted in denser, taller grasses and the spread of invasive species of which Daucus, Lapsana and Lathyrus are examples. Our goal is to curb the spread of these undesirable species by mowing large populations during their growing season to slow their setting of seed. As a result, we anticipate a lighter mowing task throughout the cemetery. Fewer invasive species also means less competition for light and nutrients by our more desirable native shrubs and perennials. Once the desired native species have set seed, we will begin our second mowing, typically in August. At this time we will mow the entire cemetery with the exception of the understory of native shrubs and trees. We are expecting our summer mowing to move at a more efficient pace due to decreased vegetation.
The time around Memorial Day is when numerous people visit loved ones, search for pioneer or veteran graves, or simply enjoy the ambiance within this unique cemetery. Mowing prior to Memorial Day will bring about better accessibility to many more grave sites for our visitors. This will create a more open feel, while maintaining the balance necessary for the native environment reminiscent of our historical rural cemetery.
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