On the bright sunny morning of November 5th, BNRP and NCAMN volunteers met at Tyler Bend Visitor Center to prepare the native flower and shrub gardens for winter. Clusters of Beauty Berries were still glowing purple in spite of a general lack of autumn color. The volunteers weeded, then mulched the beds with leaves from the bin that the maintenance crew had filled. After the morning of hard work and companionship, several volunteers went home with donated rooted cuttings of Beauty Berry and Button Bush to add to plantings in their own yards.
A single native plant has potential to attract a host of creatures; pollinators, seed dispersers, birds, butterflies and others, micro to macro. The checks and balances developed over time help them prosper. A yard planted with native species can become an extension of the local ecosystem, and at this time of year, lot sized habitats can be crucial for migratory birds to rest and feed.
The Tyler Bend shrub and wildflower gardens were created as examples to show that native plants can beautify while benefitting the health of all. The native plant gardens are maintained by volunteers twice annually.
For this autumn’s maintenance, thank you to Dwan Garrison, Marilyn Fouts, Judy Bearer, Paula Caprio, Peggy Krohn, and Tom Krohn. Thanks also to Ranger Naturalist Joyce Umbach for her help and for providing her leaf shredder, and to Jessie Morris and his maintenance crew.