by Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director

The triangle near 118th St between 3rd Ave and Dune Drive has been transformed into an oasis for butterflies, songbirds, hummingbirds, and pollinators of all types. Thanks to a collaboration between the Borough of Stone Harbor’s Natural Resource Committee and The Wetlands Institute, and a group of volunteers, the area has been planted with more than 1100 native perennial plants. The plants were especially selected to provide benefits to wildlife and are suitable for growing in our area. The plants were grown by a local native plant nursery, Clemenson Farms, to our specifications and importantly do not contain insecticides that are known to contribute to mortality of pollinators especially honey bees. Twenty-seven species of flowering plants and two species of grasses were planted. The plants include four species of milkweed to support the nectar and food resources for Monarch Butterflies. Several species produce large flowers and then seeds for songbirds including American Goldfinches. The plants will bloom from early spring through late fall. Several species of asters and goldenrods were included to extend the flowering season well into October to provide fuel for migrating Monarchs. The first Monarch butterfly showed up within 30 minutes of the last plants going in the ground. If you build it – they will come.

A complete list of plants, along with descriptions can be found on the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary website. Be sure to stop by and see how native plants and gardening for wildlife can be included in your yard.