On June 18, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) celebrated National Pollinator Week by inviting community members and Station employees to a self-guided interpretive garden stroll through the SRS People’s Garden located at Station headquarters in Asheville, North Carolina.
The pollinator garden features native flowering plants that provide nectar, pollen, and habitat to native bees, honeybees and other insects such as butterflies, as well as birds and other wildlife. It was inspired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s People’s Garden Initiative in 2009. The initiative encourages U.S. Department of Agriculture employees to create gardens that demonstrate the department’s mission and provide an example of a sustainable landscape.
Approximately 25 community members and 10 Station employees toured the garden, which is free and open to the public. Buncombe County Master Gardeners, Station volunteers, and volunteers from local conservation groups were onsite to answer questions about the plants and the pollinators.
The garden stroll also marked the first public event after Boy Scouts Troop 91 installed 7 permanent sign posts and made other major improvements to the garden. Educational and interpretive signage is now in place to guide visitors through the garden.
The key to the success of the pollinator garden is collaboration. In 2010, the Buncombe County Master Gardeners helped design the garden with pollinator-friendly principles in mind, and donated plants. Master gardeners, Forest Service volunteers, community members, and community groups continue to maintain and improve the garden.
For more information, email Sarah Farmer at firstname.lastname@example.org