Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wildflowers, Route 70, Cherry Hill

Normally I use this space to talk about "places" in South Jersey, as in "places of operation."

This time I would like to focus on a different kind of "place," namely the median along a stretch of Route 70 that runs through Cherry Hill.

Normally, the median of a highway is of no more interest to most people than a white, fluffy cloud in the sky. It's there, but you see it every day so it's not all that exciting to look at.

But this median along Route 70 is no longer a "normal" median.

Back in June, Cherry Hill Township planted wildflower seeds along ten separate sections of the median that divides Route 70. Those seeds have sprouted into tall and diverse wildflowers and now provide a tantalizing surge of colors in spots that would otherwise be festooned with plain old green grass and detritus. Not only do these wildflowers provide a burst of beauty, but, as mentioned in the afore-linked article, they help to reduce the carbon footprint since they don't need to be mowed like regular grass, and they provide the added benefit of potentially helping people calm down in an otherwise stressful, high-traffic area.

Kudos to Cherry Hill Township for implementing these wildflower patches. This is a great example of being civic-minded and looking to beautify the neighborhood. I hope that others feel this way too, and perhaps other townships in South Jersey will follow their lead as a result. Perhaps this is the blossoming of a new trend along the many highways criss-crossing South Jersey.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I gotta say as a NJ Transit bus operator who's route is Rt 70, this project definitely makes the rush hour so much nicer! Thanks to all who made it happen....

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? They look terrible. I have a 2nd house in Alpharetta, GA and they do their medians right. All we had to do was plant some Annuals and re-hardscape the curb line so it looks clean and edged. The flowers look like overgrown weeds. Cherry Hill should whack this project and take some real pride in landscaping this "well-known" area. With the taxes we pay here, this is a slap in the face.

Would love to go to the Mayor if I had some support. I will negotiate a deal with a landscaping company myself.

Mike said...

In response to both of your comments...

To the NJ Transit bus operator, that's great to hear that it makes your rush hour nicer! I'm sure that driving in that traffic could be maddening, and any little bit can help.

To the person who disagrees, you are certainly entitled to your opinion but I think that you are missing the point. First, this is a first time trying something like this in the South Jersey area (to my knowledge) so I don't think it's fair to bash the program since it doesn't compare to other cities. To a certain extent it's trial and error. Secondly, the "overgrown weeds" comment, in my opinion, is off base because in some ways, that's exactly what this is supposed to be... native "wild" flowers as they would exist in nature, not perfectly manicured displays. Lastly, your concern about taxes is misguided because this was a budget-neutral program. Your opinion that the taxes are high shouldn't play a role because the fact is if they did do a more detailed display like they did in Georgia, it would certainly cost much more. All in all, I stand by my opinion that this is a good program compared to just having a grassy median, and with the added benefit of there being no cost to taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

NJ Transit driver here....Yes, my point exactly. They are supposed to be "wild" flowers, and being someone who enjoys nature, it does break up the monotony of my 40+ hours on 70 every week.

Granted, I have not seen displays like this before, so my initial impression was good.

Sitting in rush hour traffic is never fun, but I do get some enjoyment looking at them.

I did notice that they did trim some of the overgrown stuff last week....