Bees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife will have a new haven at Oak Hills Park. On Friday and Saturday, May 21 and 22, a small group of volunteers planted the start of a large restorative meadow in the nature center area of the park. This is a project of the Oak Hills Park Nature Advisory Committee.
Planted were native plants: Lobelia, Salvia, Digitalis, Dogbane, Golden Alexander, and Clover Bush (all grown by the Norwalk Land Trust), along with seeds (Showy Northeast Native Wildflower and Grasses Mix from Ernst Seed Co.) planted throughout the meadow area both in organic topsoil with compost and in existing conditions (mostly turf grass aerated ahead of time).
Meadows are all the rage right now, and this new meadow follows some of the new practices in establishing from scratch. Planting in both topsoil (ideal conditions) and in existing conditions (grass and “weeds”) will yield a mix of results, but native plants are strong and resilient and adapt well to our environment. That’s the point. Establishing a new meadow can take 3-4 years to flourish as the native plants get more of a foot-hold.
This new meadow will provide food and shelter for pollinators—Oak Hills Park’s nature center is on the Pollinator Pathway—helping the insects and birds who rely on natural habitat for their life cycles. If each property in our community had a garden dedicated to native plants, this important wildlife will have safe haven and food during migration, summer months, and all seasons.
As our new signs say, “Pardon the Weeds, We’re Feeding the Bees.” Join us and plant natives for our pollinators in your yard or garden. This is Beauty and Function working together for Mother Earth. Come visit our nature center—Oak Hills Park is more than golf.
Audrey Cozzarin, Chair
Oak Hills Park Nature Advisory Committee