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Community Clean Up

On May 14, volunteers made a good dent in preparing wildflower rain gardens on the banks during our annual Community Nash Creek Clean-Up. They cut last year’s stems to fifteen inches tall for native bee nesting sites. (Eighty-five percent of native bees are solitary, non-aggressive, and lay egg cells in the stems.) Highly invasive garlic mustard was pulled. They are non-native plants whose roots send poison into the ground to inhibit native plants from growing. Finally, volunteers started to spread shredded bark to inhibit weeds, keep roots moist, and enrich the soil. Healthy native plants not only improve habitat, they slow and clean stormwater before it reaches the creek.

Thanks to this year’s small group of volunteers, visitors to Sparta’s village parks and nearby businesses will enjoy seeing beautiful blooms and returning native species populations all summer long! They are: Scott Green and Sue Blackall - community volunteers; Orson Alvarado, Caleb Burnaby, Luc Majeske, and Monica and Noah Goodfellow - “That One Team” Robotics group; Sam, Shannon, and Alex Colby, - Boy Scout Troop 704; and Erin, Chase, Avery, Barrett, and Morgan Tayor, and Jill and Titus Gearhart - Cub Scout Troop 3280. In 2 ½ hours, quite a bit of the work was completed, and with more volunteers, all would have been finished that day. Please plan on making a difference as stewards of your community and the Earth at the Community Nash Creek Clean Up

Everyone is needed and invited to help maintain our native gardens at Sparta parks and schools. Native plants improve all of life by cleaning stormwater, providing habitat, and improving our mental health-but volunteers are few! No experience is necessary. Options are Wednesdays and Thursdays 9:30-noon and Thursdays 5:30-7:00 pm. Contact Sue Blackall for specific locations at 616-460-2429, sue.blackall@spartaschools.org

Dedicated community volunteer, Scott Green, helps weed native wildflower gardens on the banks of Nash Creek in Sparta parks.

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