A new pollinator garden has been implemented in the right-of-way by the Glen Echo Town Hall parking lot area above the retaining wall. It has been named the Nancy Long Bird & Butterfly Garden to honor the many years of amazing work that Nancy Long has done for the Town of Glen Echo as well as her commitment to the natural heritage of the area. The goal is to enhance the beauty and environmental benefits of the right-of-way (previously the trolley tracks).
Native trees, shrubs, and perennials favored by bees, butterflies, and birds, along with some annuals for long summer color, are planted into a bed that is approximately sixty feet long and six feet wide. Plants were selected based on their delicious berries and seeds for birds, their attraction as larval host or food plants for butterflies, and pollen rich flowers as well as sources of nectar. Grasses are also planted to provide shelter for wildlife. Many birds, amphibians and other species survive by eating insects that favor native plants and, in fact, often have specific mutually beneficial relationships. Many of the plants and animals have evolved together and have developed relationships that are often essential for survival. Research has shown that non-native plant species, which include most of our common landscape plants, do not have the same essential relationships and benefits for wildlife.
Insects are an important part of any garden’s ecosystem. For this garden to thrive, no toxic chemicals/poisons will be used and only plants that have not been pretreated with pesticides (such as neonicotinoids) will be purchased. Our goal has been to create a naturalistic garden that is beautiful and will contribute to a healthy community of beneficial insects, birds, and pollinators. The end result will be a beautiful garden that benefits us all.