Out and About at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

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Beech Hollow is much more than just selling plants.  It is our mission to propagate and preserve native Georgia plants, but one of the best parts of working at Beech Hollow is education and outreach.   This is part on of two blog posts few featuring current projects in the community:

CRNRA Update

We have been working with Park Ranger Allyson Read and some fantastic volunteers at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) at the Island Ford Visitor’s Center for the past several years.

Prepping the front entrance for new native plants

This past fall, in the front entrance area we did some plant rearranging.  Rattlesnake Master/ Eryngium yuccifolium that we planted the year before was so happy there that you couldn’t see the entrance sign anymore!

Jessi rehoming Rattle Snake Master

Luckily it is not a picky plant so we were able to move some to the outer edges of the drive by the entrance where it can continue to be huge and thrive. To highlight the sign rather than cover it, we installed some shorter plants with bright and beautiful blooms including Butterfly Weed/ Asclepias tuberosa, Mariana Golden Aster/Chrysopsis mariana and Dwarf Blazing Star/ Liatris microcephala.  

 

Volunteer appreciating native grasses in front of Hewlett Lodge Visitor Center

 

In the flower bed next to the historic Hewlett Lodge Visitor Center we have been tackling the removal of stubborn invasive Himalayan Blackberry/ Rubus armenicus. The volunteers that we worked with have some serious skills in making sure these plants are out of there for good by getting right down to the roots.  Removing those pesky invasive really lets the Passion Flower/ Passiflora incarnata and beautiful native grasses stand out.  I’m sure it’s not the last of the invasive plants that will be trying to creep in there, but we plan on keeping on them.  Don’t get comfortable Himalayan Blackberry, Rubus armenicus, we will be back!

Beech Hollow will of course be back at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area periodically and will keep you updated on the native plant progress being made at the park.  Check out their website to find out more about the park and find out how you can become involved in volunteer projects such as our native plant installations at: The Chatahoochee River National Recreation Area

 

Out and About at Freedom Park

Wildlife Sanctuary and Cub Scout Pack 586

New Blue Bird house installed at the Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden

At 207 acres, Freedom Park is one of the largest green spaces within the Atlanta area. A hidden gem located in the park at the corner of North Avenue and Candler Park Drive is the Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden, a site for the reintroduction of native plants and shrubs for bird and pollinator habitat.

Pandra Williams looking on as Laura Hennighausen, Executive Director, is being presented with the Wildlife Habitat Certification sign by Atlanta Audubon Society Board Members Melinda Langston and Leslie Edwards

On January 15th, Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden just became Atlanta’s 1st certified Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary of 2019! With the certification, the garden will be joining a network of approximately 450 Atlanta properties in reestablishing and adding wildlife habitat for threatened birds and other species to our urban area.  To find out more about Atlanta Audubon’s Wildlife Sanctuaries and/or how you can certify your own property, visit: Atlanta Audubon

This past November, Beech Hollow volunteers, Pandra Williams and Jessi Noreault, worked with members from Cub Scout Pack 586, a Scouts for Equality Inclusive Unit from the Candler Park, Lake Claire, and Inman Park neighborhoods of Atlanta.

 

Pandra and Jessi guided Cub Scout Pack 586 in identifying invasive species to be removed from the area, how to properly remove plants, identifying desired native plants and how to plant. Together we removed Bradford Pear/ Pyrus calleryana. 

Cub Scout Pack 586 preparing to plant

Pack 586 are fierce with a shovel and did an amazing job digging right down to the roots to get these invasive species out of the garden to make room for planting native plants.

Pandra giving a lesson about plant roots and dormancy

Since it was Fall, plants were hard to identify, and some desired native plants had their roots revealed. No worries though, the plants were put right back in the soil without any plant injuries.  Best of all, this created a great educational opportunity to discuss and look at plant roots and plant dormancy.

Once we cleared a few areas in the garden, Pandra did a demonstration on how to plant.  The scouts planted several native plant species including native Baptisia ssp, Purple Coneflower/ Echinacea purpurea, Georgia Aster/ Symphiotrichum georgianum, and Black-Eyed Susan/ Rudbeckia hirta

Make sure to take a walk-through Freedom Park this spring to check out the blooms from our plantings!

Native Plant Connections

We love being able to get the word out about native plants, work with and help other local groups and get native roots back into their home soil whenever there is an opportunity!  If you are part of an organization that is interested in education or plant installations of native Georgia plants, please reach out to us.  Every new connection we make is just one more step toward healing our environment.  We can’t do it without y’all!

Plants from Beech Hollow can now be seen in many of our local parks and other public areas in Georgia because of the amazing people and organizations we have had the opportunity to create relationships with.