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Maynard Biodiversity Talks: Spring in Maynard

Updated: Apr 10

Biodiversity is an important measure of the health of our wildlife. The greater the variety of plants and animals, the healthier and more resilient the environment—and the better able it is to adjust to a changing climate.

So how do citizens of Maynard think about biodiversity, and what steps are they taking to foster it? What do people value about the wildlife in the gardens, woods, wetlands, and meadows in town? How and why do they cultivate biodiversity in their gardens? How do they protect and enhance biodiversity in the landscape? This blog attempts to answer these questions through conversation with a range of individuals with diverse viewpoints and approaches. We will look at efforts both small and large, from the cultivation of a single Bee Balm plant in a pot to town-wide initiatives.

First, a bit about me. I am interested in the biodiversity in my garden, and my efforts have been rewarded with a steadily increasing range of insects, plants, and amphibians. But I am neither an expert gardener nor a botanist, so I am curious to learn from others. I bring my interest, my questions, and a desire to understand how people think and respond to a changing world.

Spring in Maynard

It's 42°F as I write this, but on the Assabet Riverbank, there is evidence of spring. I walked along the Blue-Green trail accessed from Colbert Street. It's wet underfoot, so if you plan on taking a walk, you'll need Wellingtons.

Skunk cabbage is found here, a true sign of wetland soils. This magical plant produces heat that allows it to emerge and bloom even when the ground is still frozen. The flower buds can warm up to 70°F, which melts the snow around the plant. Flowering red maples provide abundant early food for birds, and pollen is available to hungry insects as they come out of hibernation. Mosses and lichens are looking glossy. Some sedges are in flower. And if you are wondering about the difference between lichens, rushes, and grasses just remember: “Sedges have edges, rushes are round, grasses have nodes right down to the ground.” 

Here are some photos of the plants I saw on my spring walk:


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