The plantings installed in Phase 1 comprise 41 trees (nine species), 100 shrubs (15 species), and over 1,000 perennials, ferns and grasses. Each item planted has been specifically selected because of its relevance to the rich history of Concord’s East Quarter.
At the Playscape’s eastern end, black locust and poplars were chosen to reflect the area’s agricultural history. These trees are pioneer or colonizing species that would have formed hedgerows along fields. This idea was continued with the selection of aspens, sumac, sweetfern and eastern red cedars. The oaks and pines selected for the Playscape’s western end typify the nearby woodland and have been supplemented with compatible species such as American hazelnut, wintergreen and lowbush blueberry. Finally, at the entrance to Gowing's Swamp, the red maples and twin elderberry bushes which ring the Gathering Circle are a fitting introduction to this special wetland system. All of these plants are both native and indigenous, as described in Thoreau's journals, and are adapted to the soils, geology and hydrology of the Playscape site. For a complete list of all the Phase 1 Playscape plantings, click here.