Portland Parks and Recreation and Maine Audubon, with support from Portland Pollinators, are partnering to create a native meadow in the center of Franklin Street. City employees continued planting on Thursday, putting in 15 species of native wildflowers, grasses, and ground covers. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

After a year under a tarp the size of a football field to kill grass and weeds, the urban meadow planned in Portland’s Franklin Street median has begun to take shape.

Laura England works with other Portland Parks and Recreation employees Thursday on the native meadow in the center of Franklin Street. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

The Portland Parks and Recreation Department and Maine Audubon, with help from Portland Pollinators, are creating the meadow, which will be filled with colorful wildflowers and other native plantings.

Three hundred native wildflowers and other plants, grown from seed or collected by Maine Audubon over the last two years, will be planted between Congress Street and Cumberland Avenue – one of the most heavily traveled thoroughfares in the city.

The native plants should begin to display some color next year, but the wildflowers could take a few years to mature.

Urban meadows serve a dual purpose of reducing operating expenses for upkeep and creating habitat for bees, birds and butterflies.

The city already has created pocket urban meadows at Deering Oaks, the Eastern Prom, Fort Gorges, Ludlow Pond, North Street, Payson Park, Riverton Trolley Park and Labyrinth, and the Western Prom. The meadows are mowed each November.

Eric Newton, horticulture supervisor for Portland Parks and Recreation, works on planting 15 species of perennials Thursday in the center of Franklin Street. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo





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