LAC is partnering with the Southampton Town Trustees and Piazza Horticultural to create a beautiful, water cleansing buffer filled with native plants in the 8,500 square feet of land that stretches along the south end of Lake Agawam, between the water and the parking lot. The planting that Piazza Horticultural will install include a mixture of low growing shrubs, flowering plants and grasses, selected for their ability to endure periods of extreme wet, occasional drought and their ability to filter nitrogen and potential toxins from the parking lot runoff water. The plants are also resilient to the extremes of wind and salt spray from the nearby ocean. These lovely flowering plants can function as a bioswale – which is green infrastructure that intercepts and filters road runoff- when water from the parking lot collects and runs into the lake.
Installing bioswales throughout Southamtpon Village is one LAC’s critical goals because bioswales are a beautiful, natural and effective way to improve the water quality.
Plant material shown here will bloom in all four seasons. The photos include Ilex verticialta (Winter Berry) with red berries on branches all winter, Panicum (Switchgrass) and Solidago (Goldenrod) for fall color, and a massive late summer display of Hibiscus palustris (Swamp Mallow) which has become an iconic symbol of summer around the waterbodies in Southampton Village.
The planting will also nurture an ecosystem that will bolster the dwindling populations of birds and insects so important to the natural balance of life. It will provide nesting places and food for birds, flowers for native bees and diverse insects.
This project will also raise public awareness of crucial issues of water quality and wildlife reduction, serve as an example of a buffer zone plantings for water front properties and as an educational resource for local schools.