Press Releases – 2013 Native Landscape Awards

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Contact: Denise Gehring, Board Member
Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes
Mobile: (419)705-1017
Local email and request for digital photos:
WildOnesOakOpeningsRegion@gmail.com
National web: WildOnes.org
Local web: OakOpenings.WildOnes.org

For Immediate Release

December 16, 2013

Wild Ones Native Landscape Awards Announced

 

Native GardenEric PetersonEric Peterson has just won the Wild Ones Residential Native Landscape award for his beautiful prairie garden. Originally from Sylvania, Mr. Peterson purchased an old farmhouse in western Lucas County three years ago. Not only did he renovate the house, but he restored nature by planting an area in his backyard as 100% wildflower habitat in order to regrow a piece of the Oak Openings Region. He transformed a former farm field to a real wildlife oasis for bluebirds, monarch butterflies, hummingbirds and more.

First, Eric filled in a crumbling swimming pool with local soils, and then cleared out invasive weeds that grew in the new large garden bed between his patio and the pool house. Next, he seeded the area with hardy and eye-catching local native species such as wild columbine, bergamot, dense blazingstar, butterfly milkweed, cut-leaved sunflower, joe-pye weed, black-eyed susan, swamp milkweed, dotted horsemint, gray headed coneflower, tall coreopsis, hoary vervain, four species of asters, as well as, four different goldenrods.

Eric says: “My native garden is surrounded completely by farm fields. In two years since it has grown, several tree frogs, 14 monarch caterpillars, countless lightening bugs, bluebirds, dragonflies, tree swallows, hummingbird moths all have showed up en mass—but only over the native wildflowers– not in other areas yet to be planted in my yard or in the adjacent fields…If you plant it, they will come.””

This year, he has added a small rain garden next to the garage. His next project will be planting a more sizeable butterfly habitat with lots of milkweed, plus nectar and caterpillar host plants on the west side of the property. He hopes this wildflower area will serve as a rest-stop to help the imperiled monarch butterfly refuel during its migration to Mexico. Eric Peterson#2

Mr. Peterson’s garden is a local example of national ecological research by Dr. Doulas Tallamy and others, showing that growing gardens with native plants are far superior in attracting and sustaining wildlife. Dr. Tallamy notes that the positive change for nature happens very quickly, even by adding just one or two native plants a year.  

Eric enjoys observing how to best grow particular species, and which pollinators and other wildlife visit the plants. As a member of Wild Ones, he shares extra plants and seeds with other native gardeners, and is especially interested in helping to provide resources for nature education.

Wild Ones is a national not-for-profit organization with over 40 chapters that teach about the benefits of growing wildflowers and other native plants in residential and public landscapes. They also help to restore local natural areas.  The Oak Openings Region chapter serves all of Northwest Ohio and nearby southeast Michigan.  Throughout the year, they have monthly education programs, field trips, garden tours, and stewardship activities.   All of these events are free and open to the public.  

Additional Wild Ones awards were also presented. The Native Landscape Award Winner in Non-Profit/Public Agency Category was Simpson Garden Park in the City of Bowling Green. Honorable Mention Awards went to two downtown Toledo gardens: Toledo GROWS Manos Community Garden and the joint Owens Community College Urban Ag/Toledo GROWS Oneida Garden.

The Wild Ones Oak Openings chapter has key leadership roles in the nationwide “Wild for Monarchs” conservation program to protect the Monarch butterfly.   The chapter also partners with other area conservation organizations:  the Olander Park System, Toledo Botanical Garden, Metroparks of the Toledo Area, The 577 Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Wood County Park District, Wood County Master Gardeners, Green Ribbon Initiative, Department of Natural Area and Preserves, Bowling Green City Parks, and Naturally Native Nursery.  They publish a monthly electronic newsletter for their members.  A complimentary 3 issue subscription is available to those interested. 

The public is invited to attend the January 14 Wild Ones program in Olander Park at 7 pm, “How to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden” presented by Karen Wood.

To find out more about growing native plants in our area, contact Wild Ones:  http://oakopenings.wildones.org, or by email: WIldOnesOakOpeningsRegion@gmail.com  FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/wildonesoakopenings  

 [For a complete list of native plants at Mr. Peterson’s residence click here ->https://www.dropbox.com/s/vy1i41gxehd7mix/Eric%20PetersonPlantList.pdf .  Make sure to click the download button on the upper right part of the Dropbox screen.]

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Contact: Denise Gehring, Board Member
Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes
Mobile: (419)705-1017
Local email and request for digital photos:
WildOnesOakOpeningsRegion@gmail.com
National web: WildOnes.org
Local web: OakOpenings.WildOnes.org

For Release

December 31, 2013

Wild Ones Native Landscape Awards Announced

 

simpson 2Bowling Green Department of Parks and Recreation has won the Wild Ones Native Landscape award in the Public Agency category for the beautiful native garden at Simpson Garden Park.  The award was presented last night at the Bowling Green City Council meeting by Hal Mann, president of the Wild Ones Oak Openings chapter.  Four years ago, Cinda Stutzman, Bowling Green’s Natural Resources Specialist, and Dan Parrat, the Horticulturalist started on a journey to create a display garden within the park using all native plants. 

For the first phase, in the fall of 2010 they killed the grass in a section approximately 42x 86 feet in preparation for spring planting.  They brought in over 40 yards of mulch, wood chips, and 20 yards of sand.  They placed sand in the areas where sand loving plants would go. Using the woodchips they created a winding path through the center of the bed.  In order to minimize weeds, they put a deep layer of mulch where the plants would be situated.  In the spring, they planted 18 different species of native plants all obtained from local sources.  These included:  Columbine, Dotted horsemint, Dense blazing star, Wild bergamot, Stiff goldenrod, False sunflower, Little bluestem, Indian grass, Virginia mountain mint, and Butterfly milkweed.  Throughout the year with the aid of park staff and volunteers they watered and weeded to make sure the plants got well established.  By late summer the plants had started to fill in and some had already started to bloom.  This encouraged Dan and Cinda to proceed with the 2nd phase of the three year plan. 

In the fall of 2011, they staked out the area for phase 2.  This new section, approximately 112 feet long, connected to the east side of the earlier plantings.  Using the same technique as the earlier year, they prepared for another 15 species of native plants.  In the spring of 2012, the team of park employees and volunteers planted Tall meadow-rue, Culver’s root, Purple love grass, Rattlesnake master, Grey-headed coneflower, Showy goldenrod, Western coneflower, and others. 

This year they added phase 3 emphasizing plants necessary for Monarch butterfly conservation.  The plantings of 12 additional species included three more species of Milkweed, Aster, and some dogwood shrubs.   simpson 4

Mr. Mann notes that the native plant garden at Simpson Garden Park is much more than an eye appealing display.  He says this planting is also positive for the environment.  Since all these plants have evolved here over thousands and thousands of years, they are perfectly adapted to the soil and climatic conditions of the area.  They not only don’t need water once established and don’t need expensive fertilizers, these plants contribute to the ecological health of the environment.  Their deep root systems help to clean the water and let it soak far into the ground before making its way into the streams, rivers, and lakes.  The native plant corridor at Simpson is a local example of national ecological research by Dr. Doulas simpson 5Tallamy and others, showing that growing gardens with native plants are far superior in attracting and sustaining wildlife.  Dr. Tallamy notes that the positive change for nature happens very quickly, even by adding just one or two native plants a year.  Adding to Tallamay’s research, Mann references studies by the Xerces society (http://www.xerces.org/ ), showing that native plants help native pollinators such as butterflies and bees thrive.  With over one third of our food coming from the free services of pollinators, it’s crucial to protect and nourish these creatures.  As a result of these native plants used at Simpson, he says people with vegetable gardens in the vicinity should enjoy increased harvests as long as they aren’t using pesticides which kill or diminish the health of pollinators. 

All of these plants are suitable for residential landscapes in our area.  The choice of species is dependent on the particular soil simpson 1types, and light and moisture conditions in the specific yard.  During the growing season, all of the native plants used at Simpson are available locally at Naturally Native Nursery, and the Wood County Park District booth at the Bowling Green Farmer’s market.  Also the spring plant sales at Wood County Park District and Toledo Botanical Garden (TBG) feature native plants.  In addition, TBG also has a fall plant sale that includes natives. 

Wild Ones is a national not-for-profit organization with over 40 chapters that teach about the benefits of growing wildflowers and other native plants in residential and public landscapes. They also help to restore local natural areas.  The Oak Openings Region chapter serves all of Northwest Ohio and nearby southeast Michigan.  Throughout the year, they have monthly education programs, field trips, garden tours, and stewardship activities.   All of these events are free and open to the public.  

Additional Wild Ones awards were also presented at their annual dinner. The Native Landscape Award Winner in the Residential Category was Eric Peterson. Honorable Mention Awards went to two downtown Toledo gardens: Toledo GROWS Manos Community Garden and the joint Owens Community College Urban Ag/Toledo GROWS Oneida Garden.

The Wild Ones Oak Openings chapter has key leadership roles in the nationwide “Wild for Monarchs” conservation program to protect the Monarch butterfly.   The chapter also partners with other area conservation organizations:  Wood County Park District, the Olander Park System, Toledo Botanical Garden, Metroparks of the Toledo Area, The 577 Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Wood County Master Gardeners, Green Ribbon Initiative, Ohio Department of Natural Area and Preserves, Bowling Green City Parks, and Naturally Native Nursery.  They publish a monthly electronic newsletter for their members.  A complimentary 3 issue subscription is available to those interested. 

The public is invited to attend the January 14 Wild Ones program in Olander Park at 7 pm, “How to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden” presented by Wood County bee keeper, Karen Wood.

To find out more about growing native plants in our area, contact Wild Ones:  http://oakopenings.wildones.org, or by email: WIldOnesOakOpeningsRegion@gmail.com  FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/wildonesoakopenings  

 

 

 

 

 

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