Native Plants at Wright Library
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Generous funding made these projects possible. Thank you to our partners: Four Seasons Garden Club, MOMs of Oakwood, Girl Scouts of America, Wright Memorial Public Library Foundation, and Montgomery County.
Thanks to community volunteers and grant funding, two new gardens featuring Ohio's indigenous plants were established in the spring of 2022. The project grew out of support from local civic groups and individuals energized by the library's ecology education programs the idea of adding native plants in the suburban landscape around Wright Library to support local and migrating pollinators and birds.
Located on the southeast corner of the library's lot, the sun garden was planted in May and consists of 32 different species of plants. It also meets the qualifications required to become part of the Monarch Waystation Program. Signs will be placed within the garden to educate passersby on the importance of pollinators and benefits of including native plants in the urban landscape.
Garden planning formally began in September 2020. The library continued to gather community support, create community partnerships, locate possible funding, and formalize the garden site. In April 2021, the Community Read of the book Nature's Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy galvanized support and resources for a native garden at Wright Library.
In early 2022, a group of volunteers and library staff began to meet to plot the garden, discuss its educational goals, and develop maintenance plans. Green Oakwood, a local citizen group focused on sustainability, as well as the Dayton native plant nursery Tadmor Greenes have been heavily involved in the sun garden's progress.
The sun garden is a combined effort of Wright Library, OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers (OSUE MGV); Dayton Area Wild Ones; Lilly Rich, an Oakwood Girl Scout who will base her Gold Award upon service to the garden and its implementation; and Green Oakwood.
The northeast side of the library will feature native plants that thrive in shade. Pawpaws — the official native tree of Ohio — other understory shrubs and trees, and a variety of Ohio’s beautiful spring ephemeral wildflowers and groundcover will be established in the coming months.
Oakwood resident Cheryl Vargas stepped forward as a volunteer keen on establishing a native landscape for the library. Through her involvement with Greater Dayton Partners for the Environment, Green Oakwood, MEEC (Marianist Environmental Education), and Dayton Area Wild Ones, she brings a depth of knowledge and commitment to the shade garden development and community education.