The Foundation’s greenhouse facility at Tupancy Links is an important component of many of the Science and Stewardship Department’s research and management projects. Each year, we collect seeds from common native plant species found on our properties. Plants are propagated in our greenhouse and then out-planted along eroded trail and road edges, around the perimeter of newly-established parking areas, and in areas where invasive plant species treatment has taken place.
Using seeds of native species harvested from our properties is an important way of maintaining the genetic diversity of local plant populations, which have evolved under Nantucket’s unique physical and environmental conditions. Our native plants are well-adapted to Nantucket’s coastal habitats and have formed complex and interdependent relationships with the island’s wildlife.
Native plants are also a great addition to home landscaping projects. One of our Science and Stewardship Department goals is encouraging homeowners to enhance their landscaping with more native species, to help provide connections between conservation properties and to boost wildlife habitat across the island. For more information about using Nantucket native plant species in your yard, and examples of good choices suitable for a variety of habitat conditions and uses, click here for information in the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative’s Landscaping with Native Plants on Nantucket pamphlet.
Planting with native species benefits a wide variety of native insects, from native bees and fireflies to monarch butterflies. Many of these insect populations are in decline due to habitat loss, fragmentation, pesticide and herbicide use and introduced diseases.
In 2020, we began transitioning the landscape around our 118 Cliff Road office to help educate the public about the importance and beauty of native plants. With a generous grant from the Nantucket Garden Club, and a landscape design created by a board member, we removed large areas of invasives and replanted with native shrubs, trees, and grasses around our office entrance; we also created a large wildflower meadow with plants grown in our Tupancy Links greenhouse. Check out our Science Blog to learn more about this landscaping update. Stay tuned for developments as we add informational signage and events centered around these new plantings!