MAEscapes: Mid-Atlantic Ecological Landscapes

MAEscapes Demonstration Gardens, York County Annex Building

Changing the way we landscape….

Mid-Atlantic Ecological Landscapes or MAEscapes, was created to demonstrate conservation landscaping principles and techniques. The habitats created encourage diversity of native wildlife and have the additional benefits of lower cost and less maintenance. These ideals are appropriate for homes, schools, businesses and public spaces.

The conservation landscapes at the County Annex Building in York, Pennsylvania began as many great projects do, with a casual conversation in the hall. Employees of Penn State Cooperative Extension and the local Conservation District both discovered that they were interested in doing some kind of conservation landscaping project at their offices at the County Annex building and decided to schedule a meeting to discuss possibilities. From that meeting came suggestions for appropriate partners and a project steering committee (the MAEscapes team) was created. The steering committee sought approval for the project from the Building Committee and the County Commissioners and from there, the conservation landscaping project was born! Members of the MAEscapes team planned and designed the gardens. Installation was accomplished by Master Gardener volunteers, members of the Susquehanna Valley Wild Ones and steering committee members. Gardens were created in stages, as funds and plant materials became available. Today there are five MAEscapes demonstration gardens, with plans for a sixth in the works.

MAEscapes has expanded to include class offerings during the year, a spring native plant sale and a native plant tour in June or July of each year. The demonstration gardens are open every day, all year long.

Who We Are

MAEscapes (Mid-Atlantic Ecological Landscapes Partnership) started as a conservation landscaping project of the employees of the York County Extension office and the local Conservation District. The project has evolved into a program run mainly by Master Gardeners, local horticulture professionals, as well as like-minded community members.

Mission Statement

Promote and teach environmentally sustainable practices using native plants.

Guiding Principles

Reduce the Use:  Native plants, located in their proper conditions, require less fertilizer, pesticide and labor to maintain.  Fewer chemicals create a safer ecosystem for all, with the benefit of lower maintenance costs.

Use of Mid-Atlantic Native Plants:  The use of native plants protects, restores and sustains the biodiversity of plants that wildlife needs to survive.

Conserve Water:  Proper site preparation and careful plant selection will take advantage of natural conditions and control man-made sources of storm water runoff.  This reduces the need for watering and slows sedimentation and pollution in the watershed.

Create Wildlife Habitat:  The natural communities created by implementing conservation landscaping techniques will help replace our shrinking native habitats.  Wildlife attracted to these communities will give your site unique beneficial beauty.