Hancock Beach Bioswale

Burning the bioswale

Posted April 19, 2024

The Hancock Volunteer Fire Department, under the direction of Chief John Erickson, took advantage of perfect conditions April 15 and set fire to half of the bioswale. They used weed burners to set the blaze, fire hoses to keep them under control, and rakes to clear the scorched ground and check for hot spots.

At Wild Ones’ request, they only burned half of the site. Prairie management best practices call for burning only sections of a prairie. Invertebrates shelter in the vegetation, and by only burning half, the survivoing bugs can resettle the burned section as it regrows.

Coming into its own

Posted October 24, 2023
In the last few years, the bioswale has been coming into its own. During summer 2023, Wild Ones held a weeding bee and noticed some changes: fewer spotted knapweed, more hawkweed and other “suburban” weeds you might find in your lawn. This might be because the spotted knapweed is decreasing and making way for a whole new crew of undesirables. Never mind. No matter how tenacious the invasive, we shall never give up.

This year we felt the bioswale was showy enough to be featured in our first public native garden tour. Next year, we hope it will be even prettier. Some of the high-impact plants we’ve added over the years are lance-leaf coreopsis, false sunflower, wild bergamot, sweet Joe Pye weed, showy goldenrod, butterflyweed, pale purple coneflower, and New England aster.