By Mark Richardson, Director of Horticulture at New England Botanic Garden
Small brook where crayfish were found
I joined the staff at New England Botanic Garden in 2018. At that time, we had recently acquired about 20 acres of land to the north of the Inner Park from the Kim family. That parcel, a piece of undeveloped land featuring mixed oak forest, brought the Garden’s total footprint up to about 171 acres and meant more protected open space for the town, the Garden’s 200,000+ annual visitors, and, importantly, the Wachusett Reservoir.
While settling into the position as director of horticulture, I wanted to be sure I understood the property boundary and the wild plants growing around the edges of the Garden. I spent a lot of time exploring the natural areas in my first six months on the job, discovering beautiful