Bay Head Shores Property Owners Association offers its residents 55,ooo square feet of space for recreation and enjoyment, including yoga on the beach, sunbathing and tennis. Windy conditions cause continual shifting sand movement off the beach and onto the tennis court, parking lot and street. The goal of the Bay Head Shores Property Owners Association is to protect the community beach area from wind blown sand and shoreline erosion.
They also wish to beautify the shared Clubhouse grounds with native perennials and flowering shrubs that support pollinators.
The slightly alkaline, sandy soil around the perimeter of the property is void of vegetation, offering little protection from erosion and sand loss. The Jersey-Friendly Yards website was used to select drought-tolerant and salt-tolerant native grasses, shrubs and perennials that grow well in sandy, nutrient-poor soil. Beach Grass (Ammophila breviligulata) was planted along the south and west perimeters of the tennis court and along the fence-line near the street to help keep the sand on site.
Existing native vegetation along the shoreline area was sparse, but healthy. Northern Bayberry (Morella pensylvanica) and Beach Grass were added as a supplement to create a barrier against wind and water erosion, and build resiliency against storms. The view of the river and bay is cherished by residents and is a vital component of the expansive landscape that was kept intact.
A year after installation of the Jersey-Friendly Landscaping, the Beach Grass and Beach Plum shrubs have created a barrier against the wind-driven sand around the tennis court and near the street. Seaside Goldenrod that straddles the benches will bloom in the fall, offering nectar to migrating Monarchs. The vegetation along the shoreline has grown into a lush, thick barrier protecting it against water erosion and loss of beach.
- Project Leaders:
- Becky Laboy (Ocean County Soil Conservation District), Eileen Miller (Ocean County Soil Conservation District), Mike Gerrity (Rutgers Environmental Steward) Valeri Coulson (President, Bay Head Shores Property Owners Association).