‘Nice splash of color’: Hibernia County Park in Chester County gets 5-acre wildflower, grass meadow

Park officials have planted the seeds for the meadow, which will grow colorful wildflowers and seasonal grass.

Owen Prusack stands in a field of wildflowers on a sunny day.

Chester County Parks and Trails Manager Owen Prusack in one of the County Parks’ established native wildflower and warm season grass meadows. (Courtesy of Chester County)

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Chester County has planted a new five-acre wildflower and seasonal grass meadow at Hibernia County Park.

The new addition will greet visitors at the park’s entrance, just off of Cedar Knoll Road in Coatesville.

The Chester County Department of Parks and Preservation has also been adding to the ecosystems at Nottingham County Park, Springton Manor Farm Park, and Warwick County Park, bringing the total coverage of wildflower and grass in county parks to 155 acres.

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Owen Prusack, the Chester County parks and trail manager, has been hard at work preparing the soil and planting the seeds. He said the goal is to increase biodiversity and reduce the county’s carbon footprint.

“The diversity part of it comes into using or planting native species that will attract and benefit wildlife. Whereas a hay meadow, which this was previously, doesn’t provide a large diversity of plant species that do benefit wildlife,” Prusack said.

A tractor trailer seeds a patch of ground.
Chester County Parks and Trails Manager Owen Prusack seeding one of the areas that will become a native wildflower and warm season grass meadow at Hibernia County Park. (Courtesy of Chester County)

The meadow will also provide additional benefits, such as limiting stormwater runoff and attracting pollinators like honeybees. Prusack said its “in the eye of the beholder, whether it’s aesthetically pleasing.”

“Personally, I think the park visitors, particularly in this situation, when they’re first driving of the park, they’ll get a nice splash of color,” Prusack said.

The roughly 12 native species of grasses, forbs, and wildflowers planted will bloom through October.

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