A dozen UNC Charlotte students, faculty and staff joined other volunteers on Sunday, April 25 to install Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadows, a community native plant project in University City. They worked to install 25 varieties of plants, for a total of 250 plants, to beautify the area and to provide education to people who want to use native plants.
Lead partners in the effort are University City Partners, UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens and the North Carolina Native Plant Society’s Southern Piedmont Chapter. Students with the UNC Charlotte Pollinator Club volunteered on Sunday with the planting.
The native plants meadow will provide a unique experience along the one-mile greenway trail. University City Partners approached leaders with the Botanical Gardens, asking them to bring their extensive expertise “out” into the community. UNC Botanical Gardens staff designed the project, acquired the plants, and helped to coordinate volunteer efforts. The Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department owns the property.
“The Botanical Gardens and Native Plant Society are committed to protecting the ecosystem through the use of native plants in this project,” says Ed Davis, horticultural supervisor and landscape architect with the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens.
“Native plants are better for the environment and local pollinators, and they are beautiful as well,” Davis said. “We hope that visitors will be inspired by the Barton Creek Native Meadows and incorporate native plants in their own home landscapes and gardens. We are appreciative of the opportunity to work with University City Partners on this project.”
For the UNC Charlotte Pollinator Club, students saw the experience as a great opportunity to extend their mission, said Carrie Wells, club advisor and lecturer in ecology and conservation biology in the Department of Biological Sciences. “We had several folks present at the greenway planting on Sunday from the Pollinator Club, including our vice president, Rachel Magallon, our treasurer Abby Richardson, and a member of the club, Zan Atwell,” Wells said. “We are trying to participate in more community events to increase our impact on helping native pollinators on and around the UNC Charlotte campus. We will be planting at the Jamil Niner Student Pantry as well.”