Thanks to the hard work and dedication of three University of Arkansas students we were able to begin a portion of our stream restoration! Dylan Milholen, Madison Brown, and Steven Thao worked tirelessly to receive funding from the University in order to complete this project. Additionally White River Nursery matched the grant money received by the students, thus doubling the number of plants! We are deeply appreciative of the time and work that was put into making this happen.
The project began in the autumn of 2015, shortly after the group of students approached our Horticulture team. Two initial sites were scoped out, but the final one was chosen due to the steepness of the bank, and the erosion along it from previous storms. After the grant was secured the students worked with BGO to find appropriate native plants. Plants were chosen both for their ability to help slow the water during storm events, as well as to provide food for native fauna. Hydrangea arborescens Smooth Hydrangea (a favorite of pollinators), Lindera benzoin Common Spicebush (host plant to the Spicebush caterpillar), and Lobelia cardinalis Cardinal Flower (they rely on hummingbirds for pollination), are just a few of the species chosen.
On a balmy spring morning the students were joined by several members of the Horticulture team as well as our Director Charlotte Taylor! Shrubs were planted along the lower shelf with hopes of slowing down fast flowing water. Native wildflowers were planted on the back edge of the top of the bank in anticipation of them re-seeding along the bank. When all was said and done the restoration was not only practical and functional, but also beautiful.