While fall is rife with yellows and oranges, a bit of brown here at the brewery is part of a bigger change. With the help of Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, we’ve embarked on the first phase of a meadow reclamation as a replacement for grass.

Since 1971, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has united communities, companies, and conservationists to improve the lands and waters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Maintaining a lawn takes lots of work with very few benefits to the environment, which is the main reason we decided to partner with the Alliance on this unique project.

Once it takes root and flourishes, the new meadow will help stabilize and keep sediment from washing into the Swatara Creek – our primary water source at Tröegs – while also providing a home for a variety of native species.

“Few things are more important to brewing beer than clean water,” says our co-founding brother Chris Trogner. “This meadow will help stop erosion and absorb nutrients here on our property that would otherwise get into the watershed.”

Ultimately, the meadow will create an ideal habitat for a variety of species of pollinators and birds while simultaneously decorating our property along Hersheypark Drive with colorful native flowers and plants as well as “links” grass, a fine-textured, upright-growing type of turf grass with a deep root structure.

“From pollinators to native insects and birds, this work benefits the entire food chain. Native meadows help maintain a functioning ecosystem that keeps orchards and our watershed healthier,” says Adam Miller from Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

Even though we won’t reap the benefits of this project right away, killing the existing grass on the property was crucial in order to prioritize the regeneration of the minerals in the soil before plantings begin.

“We’re excited to continue being good neighbors to nature,” added Trogner. “This project will take at a few years to complete. How it looks this spring will only be the start of how it will blossom in years to come.”

See it for yourself the next time you visit our brewery!