By Lizz Panchyk
The native plant garden at the entrance of Alumnae Hall, created by biology professor Matthais Foellmer, who specializes in etymology, has been a habitat for many insects since 2017. But since the pandemic, plants that were not native to the garden started to overgrow. The sumac, a plant which was not beneficial to the garden, was cut out, and soil was laid down which allowed for the plants to regrow. Now, with the help of his botany class, Foellmer is redesigning the garden, adding 550 plants.
“Setting areas aside to plant native plants that support our native pollinators is very important,” he said.
The garden, much like the Adelphi campus, does not use any pesticides which makes it a safe home for insects. It is in direct sunlight as well, which is beneficial for the growth of the plants and does not require much water.
Junior Michaela Pechie, a student who’s helping with the redesign of the garden, said, “It [native plants] really helps to sustain the animals here and new species, so it’s good to plant a garden where we can learn about them and also where they can thrive.”
The redesign–with the support of Adelphi’s provost and executive vice president Christopher Storm, who provided the funds for purchasing the plants for this year's phase of the redesign–helps to give food and shelter to native insects like bees and butterflies and give a nurturing environment for endangered native plants where they can grow freely.