Community Groups Partner On Improving School Garden

Community Groups Partner On Improving School Garden
Community Groups

BERLIN – A new garden at Cedar Chapel Special School is expected to beautify the grounds and at the same time aid the ecosystem.

In honor of Worcester County’s Day to Serve campaign, volunteers from the Lower Shore Land Trust and Boy Scout Pack 155 planted a pollinator garden at Cedar Chapel Special School. The garden is designed to promote the diversity of pollinators — insects like butterflies and bees as well as birds and small animals — through the use of native plants.

“We’re trying to keep land conservation relevant by getting the community involved,” said Victoria Bauer, outreach coordinator with the Lower Shore Land Trust. “It’s like them doing their own kind of conservation.”

In honor of Worcester County’s Day to Serve campaign — part of a multi-state effort to highlight opportunities for community service — the staff at Lower Shore Land Trust decided to help improve Cedar Chapel’s butterfly garden, an area that until now featured just a few bushes. They enlisted the help of Snow Hill Boy Scout Pack 155 to help with the planting.

On Sept. 18 volunteers from both groups gathered to add an array of native plants like milkweed to the mulched area in front of the existing bushes.

“They’d installed it as a butterfly garden and we’re making it more butterfly friendly,” Bauer said.

All of the plants added to the garden are native to the area, she explained, so they’ll be easy to maintain and won’t require too much water.

Snow Hill resident Diane Hurney brought her group of Boy Scouts to help with Friday’s planting.

“It’s educational,” she said. “The boys can learn about the plants and pollinators and why they’re important.”

The garden at Cedar Chapel marked the Lower Shore Land Trust’s fifth pollinator project. Kate Patton, executive director of the organization, said the group’s pollinator gardens, as well as its rain gardens, came as a result of the group’s annual native plant sale. Instead of simply providing plants native to the Eastern Shore, the organization is now showing area residents how they should be planted.

“It ties into land conservation work,” Patton said. “This is a platform by which you can explain ‘this is what we’re doing’ on a small scale.”

She added that it was also a way people who didn’t necessarily have acres of land to conserve could support the effort.

“It’s a way people can become involved in something meaningful even if they don’t have large properties,” she said.

Kelly Brinkley, Worcester County’s volunteer services manager, coordinated the local Day to Serve campaign. She said area residents participated in various projects in their communities as part of the campaign, which took place in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. The planting of the pollinator garden at Cedar Chapel was an ideal project, Brinkley said, because it involved multiple community groups working to help a local school.

“It was a collaboration to meet a need in the community,” she said.