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Basin  photo with black plastic to kill weeds

As part of recent sustainability efforts, PPS will make changes to two basins near Princeton High School, the EcoLab, located between the Performing Arts Center and the staff parking lot, and a new stormwater basin near the tennis courts.

In 2006, the PHS EcoLab was naturalized with native species to create a wetland habitat laboratory for students. It was initially developed with the help of local experts and Environmental Science teacher Tim Anderson. More recently, the EcoLab has been the domain of PHS students in Environmental Science classes with James Smirk as well as students participating in the Science Research Project Program. 

Photo of Eco Lab

During the pandemic, trees in the basin, which were not part of the original plan, grew to be very large.  PPS recently worked with Steward Green, a New Jersey company that provides ecosystem services consulting and project management, to remove the trees.

Large equipment was necessary for tree removal but challenging to use in a small area without damage, said Gene Huntington of Steward Green. Mr. Huntington is an ecological land planner with degrees from Penn State (BS LARCH) and Columbia Business School (Nonprofit Management). He is currently the New Jersey Environmental advisor for Rutgers Agricultural Experiment Station Board of Managers

The next phase of the project will be to repair masonry and and walls around the basin. In the spring, the revitalization of native plants will begin. Prior to naturalization, the district will check the processes for water filtration and determine that prevent erosion and sedimentation are not significant issues. The Steward Green proposal can be viewed here

Meanwhile, PPS recently created a new stormwater basin near the tennis courts. In coming months the quarter-acre basin will transition from lawn to native meadow. As part of a solarization process designed to eradicate weeds, black plastic sheeting covers the area. Once the process is complete, the basin will be seeded with native plant species. When complete, the basin is intended to manage stormwater and provide habitat for pollinators.

Review the proposal by Steward Green here.

photo of new basin


Basin  photo with black plastic to kill weeds


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