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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Native plant garden in Annandale is collaborative project

The Packard Center
A new native plant garden is springing to life near the Hidden Oaks Nature Center through the combined efforts of the Fairfax County Park Authority, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), students at Poe and Luther Jackson middle schools, and volunteers.

The new garden is located at the site of an older disused garden that Hidden Oaks maintained in the 1990s across from the entrance to the Packard Center at 4022 Hummer Road, Annandale.

Hidden Oaks provided the land. VDGIF hosted a free workshop for adult gardeners interested in native garden planning and provided a $1,000 grant for the purchase of plants through its Habitat Partners Program, an educational outreach effort that promotes the use of native plants for wildlife.

Teams of workshop participants planned garden concepts for the 20 x 30-foot garden space, and Janis Jeffers, a naturalist at Hidden Oaks, finalized the plans and list of native plants.

The garden will include arrowwood viburnum, button bush, black cohosh, New York ironweed, Joe-Pye weed, wild blue indigo, swamp milkweed, and New England aster.            

Seventh-graders at Poe and Luther Jackson are working on the garden project as part of their participation in Meaningful Watershed Education Experience field trips, an initiative funded by a grant from Northrop Grumman. The students helped with garden prep and planting, removed invasive plants, and spread wood chips on trails.

The students are learning about the watershed during their field trip to Hidden Oaks. The project covers water resources, park stewardship, water pollution, and how animals depend on clean water.

1 comment:

  1. Yea!!

    The more you know about invasive and non-native species, the more you know how important it is to plant the native ones!

    Again, I say: Yea!!