Home Moorestown News New bench installed at Swedes Run Fields

New bench installed at Swedes Run Fields

Behmer family donates bench adjacent to preserved barn

Special to The Sun: Save the Environment of Moorestown’s (STEM) recently installed bench in the native pollinator garden at Swedes Run Fields is the organization’s third placed at one of the township’s 13 open spaces.

Save the Environment of Moorestown (STEM) had a new bench installed at the native pollinator garden at Swedes Run Fields. 

Donated by the Behmer family, it sits between two trees purchased by STEM and planted by the public works department. The process began when former Moorestown resident Elsie Behmer asked if the garden was handicapped-accessible. The bench is the third installed by STEM.

“We left enough space that the trees are going to get big and they’re not going to provide immediate shade,” said STEM President Mark Pensiero. “ … These trees that we planted now will provide shade and enjoyment to people in the future. It’s just a nice addition.”

Swedes Run Fields is one of 13 preserved open spaces in Moorestown, and helps to enhance the quality of water in Swedes Run as well as providing opportunities for wildlife habitat. Last June, STEM volunteers installed the pollinator garden around the Swedes Run Barn after receiving a grant for plants from the Xerces Society, a nonprofit that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. 

The garden has more than 1,200 plants of 10 native species, including black-eyed Susans, early goldenrods and purple coneflowers.

“The primary plant blooming right now is the penstemon – which is (that) white plant – and the coneflower is just starting to bloom, and that’s nice because the coneflower will bloom from now until August,” Pensiero noted.  “So, you really get a lot of enjoyment out of that.”

Pensiero highlighted one of many benefits the garden provides.

“It’s got such a nice variety of plants, and they’re timed to really be blooming … something will always be blooming out there from May all the way into October,” he said. “ … One thing that’s nice is what we expected. It’s (the garden) just going to require far less maintenance this year.”

Birds such as palm warblers, Savannah sparrows, blue grosbeaks and Cooper’s hawks regularly frequent the garden.

“In there, right now, there’s a lot of red-winged blackbirds and in the big field,  we believe there’s grasshopper sparrow, which is one of the species we were trying to attract,” he Pensiero noted. “ … We just have to be patient as that field starts to come in.”

The bench offers a clear view in the distance.

“ … You don’t see any houses and that was the idea, that people can sit and enjoy,” Pensiero explainedd. “Hopefully, people that come to the dog park will be interested, and maybe sit and enjoy and read the sign, and get some information about pollinator gardens. And maybe they’ll be inspired to put some of these same plants in their gardens.”

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