In May, 2021, partners completed their first seeding operation at the FirstEnergy Park basin, home of the Lakewood Blue Claws. Native grasses were drilled into the basin using South Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council’s newly purchased no-till Kasco Versa-Drill. The unique design of the Kasco Versa-Drill makes it durable enough for use in no-till conditions on the most uneven terrain and offers exact placement of seed, ensuring direct contact with the soil and improved germination results. The Kasco Versa drill is able to create an opening in the soil, deposit the seed, and close the opening while completing a single pass. The use of no-till drills for basin retrofit projects promotes maximum soil conservation by limiting water and wind exposure reducing potential for soil erosion.
The seed box of the Versa-Drill is also compatible with the “fluffy” seeds of native grasses proposed within the retrofit design. Species include Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), Virginia Wild Rye (Elymus virginicus), Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans). These species are fast growing and considered superb for erosion control and stabilization. Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens) was added to the seed mix to provide fall color, nectar for migrating Monarchs and other butterflies and pollinators, as well as seed for songbirds, including Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch and sparrows. The seed mix was supplied by Pinelands Nursery.