Randalls Island Park Alliance

Bombs Away!

In Wildflower Medow on March 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Today we have a guest post from Laura Merli, one of the volunteer students from the New School, who visited us on Friday.

IMG_0161By Laura Merli

When the New School—where I’m currently studying Environmental Policy—presented the opportunity to volunteer at Randall’s Island, I jumped at the chance. Urban gardening is so important for improving air quality, providing locally grown food, and reconnecting with where our food comes from.

As volunteers, our task was to mix compost, clay, and wildflower seeds into balls—also known as “seed bombs”. We quickly assembled over 500 and marched out to the wetlands section of the park. There we dispersed the bombs by throwing them near and far.

IMG_0141The seeds used were originally harvested from Randall’s Island’s current wildflowers. The weight of the seed bombs ensure that the IMG_0157seeds will grow in the places carved out for them, rather than hopping a ride on the wind elsewhere. As they begin to grow, the compost will provide nourishment.

Besides being lovely to look at in bloom, wildflowers also provide other important services. Since they are native to the region, they are well adapted to the local climatic conditions. This enables Randall’s Island to use water more sustainably.

Monarda Fistulosa, one of the many wildflower varieties planted at Randall’s Island, is also known as “bee balm” for the strong liking that bees take to its nectar. At a time when bee populations are diminishing, it’s important for the health of many ecosystems that we work to reverse this trend.

Throwing seed-bombs with my classmates and staff at Randall’s Island was a fun and enlightening experience. It reminded me of the importance of getting your hands dirty every once and a while, and I’m not talking about touching things on the subway.

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