Museum Gardens Woodlands
The woodland garden in Prospect Heights focuses on creating habitat for local and migrating birds and introducing a diverse and native plant palette to the neighborhood. This is accomplished in four parts, re-creating the layers of plant growth found in the local woodland, selecting plants to provide year round sources of food, providing broadleaf evergreens for nesting and adding a permanent water source to the garden. In re-creating the layers of the woodland we used the Norway Maple street trees as the canopy, introduced native Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) and Amelanchier canadensis (service berry) as the understory, a diverse collection of flowering and fruiting native and naturalized species in the shrub layer, and a sampling of native flowering perennials in the ground cover layer. In general, the more diverse the plant life is, the more diverse the wild life will be. Including plants that are flowering and fruiting at all times of year provides insects and berries for the birds as a permanent wild food source. By using mostly native woodland plants we re-introduced a thriving aesthetic to the neighborhood that has been lost in the urban ecosystem. To enhance the layers of the woodland and the visual interest to the pedestrian we re-introduced topography into the landscape. Using natural stone from PA, less than 500 miles away, we created a terraced garden that helps the space to appear larger and closer to the eye, enhancing its affect on neighborhood residents.