Heart of Uwchlan

About the project 

The Heart of Uwchlan project comprises of three gardens in Baird Park (next to the Township offices).

Our goals are to:

  • Introduce native plants and enhance the biodiversity of Baird Park
  • Support Sustainable Uwchlan goals and EAC initiatives
  • Provide education for the public of sustainable gardening practices through examples

Our gardens

The gardens include a:

  • Milkweed garden (Monarch Habitat Garden)
  • Riparian streamside garden 
  • Wetland garden
  • Nature learning trail

The gardens are enrolled on Douglas Tallamy’s Homegrown National Park. 

Milkweed Garden

Initially planted in 2020, the Milkweed Garden has thrived and hosted monarch caterpillars as well as many pollinators. Being alongside the side of the meeting room has made it a successful point of interest for the public attending meetings and using the park.

Initially it was just milkweeds, but other native perennials such as asters and goldenrod have been added to support adult butterflies and pollinators with nectar and to enhance the color of the site. Swamp milkweed, common milkweed, and butterfly weed have done very well there.

Milkweek garden

Streamside Garden

The Streamside Garden was initially planted in 2020. Plants include swamp milkweed, blue vervain, red and black chokeberry, alder, boneset, asters, cupflower, and other perennials. 

We’re doing work with this riparian buffer to help enhance the stream bank’s natural growth, to support the macroinvertebrates in the stream.

In Autumn 2023 a major addition of 100 native trees were planted along the stream and throughout Baird park to enhance the riparian buffers around the water features and add to the park’s plant biodiversity. Funding for the stream buffer project was made possible by the TreeVitalize Watersheds Grant program, managed by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener program, PECO and Aqua PA for projects located within its source water protection zones.

This garden provides an example to citizens who may have a stream in their property to try something that “looks a little messy” compared to what they may be accustomed to, for the health of the stream and prevention of erosion.

Wetland Garden

The Wetland Garden, established in 2021, is proof of “right plant in the right place.” This area was too wet to be mowed so instead, we planted native plants to help the area naturally regenerate. 

Plants include swamp milkweed, swamp goldenrod and phlox, obedience plant, native iris, river oats, boneset, and blue vervain.  These are all adapted to grow in wet areas. 

A grove of trees serves as an understory, including redbuds, river birches, a swamp oak, and buttonbush. 

At the center of the garden is a sweet bay magnolia. 

Wetland Garden

Nature Learning Trail

You can explore our gardens with our Nature Learning Trail! Use our Learning Station Handbook and get information on the plants, animals, and ecology of our gardens as you make your way along the trail. 

Download the Handbook here or borrow a copy from our Administration office. 

Partnering with communities

Our Heart of Uwchlan team began collaborating with Rhondda community volunteers in 2021. The Rhondda HOA/community is just across the road from Baird Park and consists of over 600 homes.  

A new Rhondda Pollinator Garden has been planted. In addition, a meadow was established at the upper pond. The hope is to extend a green corridor in the region. 

The Heart of Uwchlan team also collaborates with the Lionville YMCA supporting its raised bed gardens and providing education about sustainable practices.

We also plan to:

  • increase collaboration with other EACs and other Pollinator Garden projects in the County 
  • Partner with groups like the Northern Chester County EACs and other organizations like the Green Team 
  • Grow the membership of public and personal gardens in the Homegrown National Park
  • Increase outreach to other neighborhood, school, and HOA associations to educate about the importance of native plants and other sustainable gardening practices.