I Am Conservation

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From Missouri Conservationist: May 2015

Representatives from the Poplar Bluff Parks and Recreation Department, from left, Horticulture Assistant Nicole Loyd, Horticulturist Angela White, and Director Clark Allen, stand amid a patch of native wildflowers on parkland. The patch, planted on several lots acquired through flood buyout, was transformed into a section of trail connecting two local parks. White said native plants are used to solve maintenance issues; create habitat for pollinators, birds and other wildlife; and provide beauty for the community. “Native plants are not only attractive but are cost effective because they require less water, fertilizer, and maintenance,” said White. I am Conservation“Well-acclimated perennials thrive for years and can be divided for planting in other locations, and many annuals reseed themselves.” The Missouri Department of Conservation provided advice and assistance on a number of projects within the parks system. Parks staff attended Department training on prescribed burns, which have been useful for removing nonnatives and spurring growth of dormant native seeds. The Department provided a plan for removing nonnative grasses from the flood buyout lots and replanting with native shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses to attract and benefit wildlife, particularly birds. The Department provided seed for wildflowers and shrubs, while the trees were provided through Forest ReLeaf’sCommunitree Grant. “It has taken a little time for some to appreciate a more natural park; however, including informative signage has helped people understand not only what we are doing, but why,” said White. “We encourage others to look at the natural beauty of our region and incorporate native plants in their yards, too.”

—photograph by David Stonner

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer/Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler