LandHeath Institute September 2020
LandHealth Institute Newsletter, Vol. 6
Introducing LandHealth's New Membership Program
We are proud to invite you to be one of the first to become a LandHealth member! Join the fun with our discounted events, exclusive member hotline, free native plants, and many more exciting benefits. Visit us at our website to find which plan is best for you!
LandHealth Native Plant Nursery
We are continuing to grow and sell from our nursery at 4862 Parkside Avenue. Please call (267) 275-5750 to make an appointment to browse or pick up, and visit us online to find seasonal plants and which native plants could be the right choice for you! Stay tuned for LandHealth participation in farmers' and other outdoor markets in Philadelphia, most recently in southwest Philadelphia (58th and Chester Streets) and in Germantown.
 Armillariella mellea mushrooms
Photo: Taisia Osipova
Philadelphia Watershed Stewardship (PWS) Program
We are in Month 4 of our Philadelphia Watershed Stewardship program! Since our August Newsletter, stewards had the opportunity to participate in a youth exchange with Riverways and learn about topics such as stormwater management. PWS is a unique field-based 'at the source' environmental learning and leadership experience for high school students in Philadelphia. Contact us at if you're interested in observing a session and/or if you are or know a high school student interested in participating.
Carabidae, Lebiinae Coptodera aerata
Photo: Taisia Osipova
LandHealth featured in Grid Magazine
Our PWS program was featured in Grid Magazine. Read about it here.
LandHealth's Native Plant Nursery
Photo: Steve Jones

Common sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale) Photo: Steve Jones
Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Hibiscus seeds
Photo: Steve Jones
LandHealth’s Native Plant Nursery and land revitalization
by Steve Jones, Nursery Manager

When we started LandHealth’s native plant nursery, our main goal was to bring “life” to the urban land that had been stressed by human activity. Some of that new life has been in the form of people, including the adults from SpARC’s day program.
We bring life back to the urban land through our operations decisions. Our nursery site at Parkside, West Philadelphia sits gently on the urban land we are in the process of revitalizing. The open areas for visitors are maintained with low-impact practices. We don’t introduce plants to our open areas that require added water, pesticides, or fertilizer. Grasses and most other plants that grow in these areas are cut regularly, but not removed. The organic material cut is returned to the ground, where it can add more organic components to the new soil we are producing on the land.
We are allowing some of our open space to revert to urban meadow, with tall clump-forming grasses providing most of the green for this area. This year we are selectively removing aggressive weeds and replacing them with plants from our nursery operation. Next year we will have a colorful urban meadow that is low maintenance, provides habitat for beneficial wildlife, and allows us to show off the beauty of landscaping with native plants.
Our nursery operations are mindful of limiting our use of resources like water and fossil fuels. We have solar panels to generate a small amount of electricity for the site. Our watering regime focuses on directing water to the soil, rather than spraying water into the air. Direct watering is beneficial to the plants, which are less prone to diseases when their leaves are kept drier.
The selection of native plants is itself part of the land revitalization wherever our plants are used in the Philadelphia region. Pests are not a concern to the native plants growing in our nursery. When we do encounter such problems, we look for ways to control or limit pests without using chemical pesticides. This year we are learning to use beneficial insect predators such as ladybugs and nematode worms to control the bugs that impact our plants. By reducing the population of problematic insects through weeding, we allow natural processes to help with pest problems.
We believe our work with the urban land at Parkside is benefitting our neighbors, program participants, and all the organisms that make human life possible in an urban setting.
Jumpseed (Persicaria virginianaI)
Planned Events (TBD, according to City Guidelines)

September 26th, 2020 - Philly Fall Nature Fest with John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Is there life floating in the clouds of Venus?

It's an extraordinary possibility - the idea that living organisms are floating in the clouds of Planet Venus. here.
COVID-19 and the Environment

Various articles have been published in the past weeks on the environmental causes and the environmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This page aims at listing relevant information, research, data and/or press releases issued by our partners in Geneva and other institutions around the world. Read more here.
Weekly Podcast

Don't forget to check out our weekly podcast!
Thursday, October 1st
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm