A Native Plants Walk in Saratoga Springs, NY
In Saratoga Springs, NY there’s a public access trail right in town where people can walk, run, take their dogs and view some native plants in the wild at the same time. Having access to nature trails in an urban area like this exponentially increases the quality of life for the local people. There’s an auspicious amount of native plants on this particular Saratoga Springs trail, and this improves the habitat quality of the ecosystem and the carrying capacity of our community for butterfly and bird populations.
At the first bridge over the brook on the nature trail, lots of beautiful native plants are in bloom right now including Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), Goldenrod (Solidago sp.), Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale), Joe Pye Weed (E. purpureum) and Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris).
On the east side of the second foot bridge on the nature trail, there is a thriving community of a beautiful native plant called Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica). This native plant is easy to grow and thrives in a garden setting but it is rarely seen growing in the wild. This Saratoga Springs trail really is a special gem, quite possibly the city’s planning board or other oversight committee took time and care to actually plant native plants along the trail because there is such a healthy mix of diverse wildflowers.
There are problematic invasive plants along the trail as well, like this obnoxious stand of stream side Japanese Knotweed. Native plants have a tough time competing with the invasives, but if we plant more and more wildflowers in our home and business locations, over time the local seed bank will be rich with a wealth of healthy wildflower information, and we will naturally win back some territory from opportunistic invasives. Native plants can be opportunistic too, and the ecosystem community of Saratoga Springs will benefit over the coming decades from each wildflower, native tree or shrub we choose to plant here. In the coming months this trail will continue to be a fireworks of successive native plants color display with New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) on deck to blow up in beautiful purple daisy-like splendor next. Stay tuned and visit soon. The Spring Run trailhead is located at the corner of East Ave and Excelsior, down the road from the High Rock Rd Farmer’s Market.