Native Plants at Meadow Croft

invasive species
Spadefoot Arrives

The Long Island Conservancy, with the support of Spadefoot Design and Construction, has been engaged by The Bayport-Bluepoint Heritage Association to restore habitat at Meadow Croft, the historic estate of John Roosevelt, Theodore’s first cousin.

Meadow Croft

Removing Invasive Plants, Planting Natives

With the guidance of The Suffolk County Parks Department and it’s Director of Historical Services, Richard Martin, we adhered to a planting design plan landscape plan from the early 1900s while removing invasive plants such as Tree of Heaven, Burning Bush and Mugwort as we went.

The estate sits at a fork in Brown’s River, on the border between Bayport and Sayville along Middle Road. Eleven red maples were planted along the western spur of the driveway in keeping with the estate’s original planting design from the early 1900’s.

Spadefoot Begins Planting The Red Maples

Native Plants Help Stabilize The Land

Whether on a hillside, bordering a pond or river, native plants, with their typically deep and extensive root systems help to bind the land together, knitting together a living biome. The red maples (or “swamp maples”), with their thirst for water, is just what is needed along this narrow rutted dirt roadway. Over time, they will shade out some of the invasive overgrowth around them, and as the name implies, take up water and lower flooding risk.

In addition, a native wildflower bed was planted where historically there had been a garden. Lemon balm, broom sedge, and bergamot were planted.

Native Wildflower Garden

These new plantings will help restore native habitat and provide an educational experience for Suffolk County residents. Invasive plants including mugwort and tree of heaven were also removed. More plantings are planned and contemplated.


  1. How about planting some milkweed? Ot used to grow wild all over Long Island and it was wiped out as a weed. Monark Butterflies rely on it. Once established it is beneficial inso many ways. I have seeds from Ohio and Vermont if interested.

    1. The problem with milkweed at Meadow Croft is deer. We just replanted the garden with some butterfly milkweed, and crucially with a fence.

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