Butomus Umbellatus About to Flower Again
This remarkable aquatic plant has become endangered in the Île-de-France region.
The Yvelines Department, already working on the preservation of the park’s protected species, is about to implement a management plan that will encourage the development of this flowering rush growing on parts of the Vieille Ferme pond’s banks. Butomus umbellatus samples were collected there at the beginning of May. They will be replanted at the sunniest plots of the water’s north and west banks to optimize the plant’s preservation.
A tall wooden pole topped with a small shelter has been constructed near Île des Mares. As a nest, its purpose is to encourage House-Martin and barn swallow reproduction. These two species are in decline due to destruction and increasing scarcity of their nesting habitats. As a way to invite bird couples to move in under this new roof, swallow songs have been played between 8 am and 5pm every day since last April.
Garden Furniture and Signage
In May, garden furniture—benches, tables, and chairs—was placed in the park’s areas already open to the public. This will continue through June and July in the operational area of the park before opening in July. Along with these comfortable additions, signage, including educational and directional signs, will be installed.
Numerous ponds have been dug in the park that will be temporarily or permanently filled with water. They will allow the development of semi-aquatic plants and wet meadows for part of the year. These small ponds will also play a beneficial role for numerous animal species (Amphibia and Dragonfly).
Raptors to Regulate Rabbit Population
Since 2014, Le Parc du Peuple de l’Herbe’s planting has attracted rabbits that swiftly made themselves at home. These small mammals are useful, especially for regulating vegetation height. However, their ability to reproduce quickly can become an issue. Because there is no natural predator to limit proliferation, they could compromise the vegetation’s recovery by grazing on young sprouts and aquatic plants. That is why the department has decided to maintain the rabbit population at a “reasonable” level by calling upon a natural process. A game bird campaign using Harris’s Hawks has been launched. If needed, new interventions may occur in upcoming months.
Until July, while walking in the park, you may find a few species of flowering orchids. While these plants grow wild almost everywhere in France, successive mowing often doesn’t give them a chance to blossom fully. Mowing doesn’t allow these plants the opportunity to seed and reseed themselves. In the park, they get preferential treatment because, depending on the space, maintenance cutting is never scheduled more than once a year.