Audubon Pennsylvania is leveraging its network of staff, volunteers, and partners to advance the use of native plants on private, commercial, and municipal lands. We know the innumerable benefits of utilizing native plants in the landscape and we’re working hard to spread that message, encourage advocacy, and cultivate grassroots support for increasing their use in community green spaces.
Throughout 2019, Audubon worked with a number of partners to develop six community learning gardens in the City of York. These gardens, all located at or near Kiwanis Lake and Willis Run, feature different environmental themes, educational signage, and volunteer opportunities. And, they also highlight connections between native plants and the state endangered Great Egrets and Black-crowned Night Herons that nest there, as well as other native wildlife.
Kiwanis Lake, which has been recognized by Audubon as an Important Bird Area, is one of only two nesting sites in the entire state for Great Egrets. Each year, visitors delight when these large white birds take up residence in the evergreen trees that line one side of the lake, along with Black-crowned Night Herons.
The six Community Blooms garden themes included riparian buffers, pollinators, shade-tolerant plants, stormwater management, bird-friendly berries, and layered habitats.
Over 300 native plants added to the landscape in six community learning gardens.
The Community Blooms partnership brought together the City of York, York City Schools, the Devers Area Neighborhood Association, the 2019 class of Master Watershed Stewards at the Penn State Extension office of York County, York College of Pennsylvania, and the York County Master Gardeners, as well as the York County Community Foundation and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.