Forest Service plants pollinator garden

Forest Service AmeriCorps Kendra Sultzer, left, watches as Amanda Burns and Jaylee Doss use a seed spreader to plant wildflowers in the pollinator garden at the Marlinton ranger station. The girls are members of the Brushy Flat Bushwackers 4-H club and volunteered to help seed the garden. S. Stewart photo
Forest Service AmeriCorps Kendra Sultzer, left, watches as Amanda Burns and Jaylee Doss use a seed spreader to plant wildflowers in the pollinator garden at the Marlinton ranger station. The girls are members of the Brushy Flat Bushwackers 4-H club and volunteered to help seed the garden. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

In an effort to increase the number of West Virginia wildflowers and pollinator plants in Pocahontas County, Forest Service AmeriCorps Kendra Sultzer and the Brushy Flat Bushwackers 4-H Club planted a large pollinator garden at the Marlinton ranger station last week.

Sultzer has several of these projects throughout the forest.

“We were looking at doing them at admin sites – places we wanted to reduce mowing – so we did it right outside the office,” she said. “It will be good for interpretation purposes, so we’re going to put up signs and other wildlife components, like a bluebird box and maybe a bat box.”

Pollinator gardens, which feature wildflowers native to West Virginia, are good for the environment in many different ways.

“We try to focus on pollinators because their habitat is kind of being destroyed in a bunch of different areas and they’re really good for us for a variety of reasons,” Sultzer said. “If there are a bunch of them, they pollinate the fruits and vegetables that we want to eat in the area and pollinator gardens are just really showy and pretty, so we thought that would be nice.”

Planting day was also a great learning experience for members of the 4-H club. They learned why pollinator plants are so important, as well as tricks of the trade on how to plant a successful garden.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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