Thursday, June 7, 2012

Native Plant and Widlife Gardening Opportunity!

Join us Sunday night at 7pm, at the 8th Street Pocket Park Native Plant Garden (at the corner of 8th and Grant) for an hour of light weeding and garden clean-up.  This is a great opportunity to learn to identify native plants, learn gardening techniques and see some easy to grow beautiful native plants in action. 

Ranger Orientation
Since the planned events don't work with everyone's schedules, several neighbors have requested to do an "independent study" that is, to be assigned tasks that they can work on outside of scheduled clean-ups.  We are really excited about this, and those that have volunteered  we are calling Pocket Park-Rangers! So, if you'd like to be assigned a task, come by for an orientation.  The types of things for the independent studies are dandelion patrol and removal, mowing the horseshoe court, trimming the grasses along the edges of the park and the ditch, trash pick-up, and maybe watering some new transplants. 

Here is a little background on the park:
The 8th Street Pocket Park is a small neighborhood park my wife and I have been volunteering our time and donating plants and materials to for over 5 years including planning, landscaping, grant writing and maintaining the park (click here for more information). This was an unused right of way (owned by the city) that was not being maintained, cared for, and had just turned into a gathering area for trash and noxious weeds. We transformed 1/2 of it n 2008, using drought tolerant native plants, and incorporated many wildlife features.  In 2009 we received a grant for plants, mulch and other landscaping materials and in 2010, we completed the park. Funding for materials for this project has come from the Missoula Office of Neighborhoods, UM Natural Areas, and Montana Native Plant Society. Materials were also donated by Home Resource (like recycled lumber, fencing, lawn edging and more), and plants and bird, bat, bee houses and interpretive signs were donated by Butterfly Properties (that is, my wife and me).

Our neighborhood is deficient in parks and open spaces. Landscaping this site transformed existing public space from an unusable state into an attractive little park. While the final product meets a community need (more park space), the process of creating the native plant landscape also engaged neighbors visitors to the area.

Also, while you are at the park, check out the various houses- bee (below), bat (above) and chickadee nest boxes in the garden. 
You can stay up to date on all the happenings in the little native plant garden by liking it on Facebook.  Also, here is the event page for the clean-up event.

If you come, bring some gloves and weeding tools if you have them.  And don't forget your camera!

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