The Guyot Walk is a hidden gem of natural serenity located in the center of Princeton. The path is named for a former Princeton resident, Arnold Guyot (pronounced ghee-YO), who taught geology at Princeton University. It shelters a dose of unrestrained greenery and has long provided a shortcut to school for biking children, a break for families, and dog walkers. For years it has been lovingly cared for by neighbors and enjoyed by the community. This year, a number of community-wide workdays were planned to help with invasive species removal and native plantings.
The second spring workday took place on Saturday, May 13, and both neighbors and volunteers planted a variety of native plugs and trees and removed invasives like Norway maple Acer platanoides and Japanese honeysuckle Lonicera japonica. The following native varieties were planted: American Witch-Hazel Hamamelis virginiana, Highbush blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum, Blackhaw Viburnum prunifolium, American Beech Fagus grandiflora, White Wood Aster Eurybia divaricata, White snakeroot Ageratina altissima, Heartleaf foamflower Tiarella cordifolia and Golden Ragwort Packera aurea.
On Saturday, April 1, 2023 the neighborhood hosted the first community-wide workday. About 20 residents, directed by neighbors familiar with species identification, dug out the yellow Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna) and replaced them with native flowers and shrubs.
A total 124 native plants were planted including the following varieties: Shooting star (Primula meadia), Wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata), Wild ginger (Asarum canadense), American Beech (Fagus grandiflora), Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica), Nannyberry Viburnum (Viburnum lentago), Possumhaw Viburnum (Viburnum nudum), and Virginia bluebell (Mertensia virginica). Watch for the flowers at the junction of Harris Road and Guyot Walk—they should bloom in early summer. All species are hardy and chosen for their potential to out-compete the celandine.
The project has been supported by Princeton Municipality’s Open Space Manager, Cindy Taylor, with plants, contacts, and expert advice; the Municipal Arborist, Taylor Sapudar, who replaced diseased ash trees with oaks and redbuds; Princeton Public School Facilities Department, who saw to the removal of rubber crumb that spilled into the brook and equipment along the fence; and Princeton Public Works, who emptied the trash.
The restoration is not done yet! Stay tuned for fall workdays to be announced!
Sustainable Princeton is a non-partisan, non-profit organization in Princeton, NJ with a mission to inspire our community to develop and implement solutions that positively impact our environment. It’s our vision that Princeton be a model town that examines every action through the lens of sustainability ensuring a healthy environment, a strong economy, and the wellbeing of all community members now and in the future.
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