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Strengthening the Mill Pond Habitat Through Native Planting Around Town

Carolinian Canada

Strengthening the Mill Pond Habitat Through Native Planting Around Town

Dorchester’s beloved Mill Pond depends on a Carolinian ecosystem that extends beyond property lines.

An upcoming virtual native planting Skills Lab on May 4th 7-8:30pm organized by the Mill Pond Committee and I Love Dorchester will provide Thames Centre tailored advice for native gardening: a timely spring activity for families stuck at home.

"You can witness things in your yard that are hard to spot on nature trails," remarks Ruth John, local avid gardener who'll be walking attendees through a virtual tour of her garden next Tuesday. "I love that it supports animals from toads to butterflies and birds. I don't get all those invasive pests anymore, and those native plants look after themselves!"

Native planting in particular requires less maintenance and lower water usage, while providing beautiful lasting flowering landscapes.

"A growing body of research is also revealing that cultivating biodiverse native yards and public spaces presents one of the greatest opportunities to reverse the effects of climate change and property development"

(Source: Douglas Tallamay, University of Delaware)

“Growing a wildlife garden with native plants contributes to ecosystem restoration,” says Michelle Kanter, Carolinian Canada’s Executive Director and Dorchester local who’ll be speaking next Tuesday. "It's one of the most powerful things you can do for the planet."

"Many of us think there's a tradeoff between an eco-friendly yard and style, but a simple Pinterest search of 'chic native backyard' or 'modern pollinator gardens' will quickly change one's perception," says Christopher Morello, one of the Mill Pond Committee Members organizing the next Tuesday's workshop.

The first 20 registrants will receive gifted native pollinator seeds from Heeman’s private collection to start or expand their own native flower beds.

Dick and Nic's in Dorchester carries a range of native varieties, like Great blue lobelia, Dense blazing stars, and Black-eyed susans. "Great blue lobelia in particular attracts a lot of butterflies, which is an easy and rewarding place to start for someone's first native plant," says Nicole Giroux from Dick and Nic's.

This initiative runs in parallel with the Mill Pond Committee’s advocacy to increase native tree coverage around the municipality, as well as complement other residents’ Earth Day initiatives; like Ashley Arensault – a Boardwalk resident – who is arranging a socially distanced weekend garbage pickup targeting accumulated construction debris that could blow into the Mill Pond Habitat.

Residents interested in receiving native seeds and attending the Skills Lab are encouraged to sign up via Mill Pond’s Facebook page or via