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Madison Square Park Conservancy is responsible for the maintenance of the park’s lawns. Lawns are open daily for public use starting at 10 AM through 9 PM, weather permitting. Lawns are closed on Parade Days.  Learn more about park hours and rules by visiting our FAQ page.

Testing Plant Resilience

Jul 12, 2022 | Horticulture

Testing Plant Resilience

Dog Pee Trial Sign Png

As work continues on the newly renovated Jemmy’s Dog Run, the plantings around it are contributing to important research. Ten different species of native plants have been planted in the area, with signs encouraging dogs to relieve themselves on the plants throughout 2022.

That may be surprising to hear for dog owners who are used to being asked not to let their dogs urinate on plants. But the assortment of species being featured in this trial are known for their non-toxic nature, salt tolerance, and remarkable hardiness, and this study will help nurseries better understand which of these plants can tolerate high levels of urea—a nitrogen compound found in dog urine. 

When our puppy patrons ingest meat-based proteins, they get released as nitrogen-rich salts: waste products that are eliminated from a dog’s body through their urine. Over time these compounds can burn leaves and alter the pH of the soil. But through this study, we can gain a better understanding of which plant species are best at withstanding their effects.

The trial was issued by North Creek Nurseries, and eight other gardens will be hosting this trial throughout the eastern part of the country, including Battery Park City Authority and Gowanus Canal Conservancy. The next time you and your pup are in the park, look out for signs marking the locations where your pup can make their own “scientific contribution.”

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Abigail Deville: Light of Freedom
Abigail Deville: Light of Freedom, Narrated by Brooke Kamin Rappoport
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