Meadows at Arcadia

Bobolink in a meadow
© Phil Doyle

The Arcadia Meadows are divided into two sections: the Manhan Meadows north of Ned’s Ditch and the Rookery, and Pynchon Meadows south of Ned’s Ditch and the Rookery.

A major focus of Arcadia’s ecological management program has been the establishment and maintenance of open cover types, together covering nearly 200 acres. These areas consist of native and non-native grasslands, forb-dominated weedlands, and agricultural lands.

Mountain View Farm leases 61 acres for agricultural use. Crops grown in the leased fields have included hay, corn, potatoes, various squashes, cucumbers, various mustard-family vegetables, and others. In some cases, row crop cultivation (due to the timing of cultivation, the crop produced, cover planting, or other factors) has provided cover and breeding or stopover habitat for some species of migratory songbirds.

Grass and Plant Species

Grass species in the non-cultivated area of the meadows include big bluestem, Canada wild rye, timothy, switchgrass, Indian grass, orchard grass, Kentucky bluegrass, smooth brome, quack grass, yellow foxtail, and deer-tongue, among others.

Portions of the meadows, known as weedlands, include more forb species (herbaceous flowering plants that are not grasses, sedges or rushes). Common forbs include giant ragweed, common evening primrose, common milkweed, Canada thistle, Queen Anne's lace, bedstraw, sensitive fern, fleabanes, and a variety of goldenrods, including tall, early, and rough goldenrod.

Birds and Meadows

This open land provides important habitat to many bird species such as eastern bluebird, bobolink, American kestrel and many others. Birds relying on grassland habitat, which makes up most of the Arcadia Meadows, have declined more in the past 30 years than birds relying on any other habitat type. Learn More in 'State of the Birds' >

How You Can Help

Maintenance of grasslands at Arcadia and in other Connecticut River Valley sanctuaries is a significant expense to Mass Audubon. Please support us in this important work by making a gift today. 

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