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Chapter News - July 17, 2017

Otter Lake Elementary Pollinator Update

Otter Lake Elementary Pollinator Update

Date: Monday, July 17, 2017

With a couple hours to spare on a hot Sunday in the middle of July, I determined to go and inspect the condition of the prairie that RCPF planted in partnership with Otter Lake Elementary and others in October 2015.  I knew that nature would change the landscape on it's own schedule, but the prairie looked a bit desolate in August 2016.  I had not been out to the school since that time but the 2nd year is when things should really start to pop.

The 2.4 acres  was alive with color yesterday!  The goal for any successful pollinator project is to have multiple plant species (a minimum of 3) blooming in each of 3 overlapping periods.  Yesterday, pretty much the exact middle of July, the area was awash with purple from Rough Blazing Star and Fragrant Giant Hyssop along with yellow from Black Eyed Susan.  There were white flowers present as well but I am not quite educated enough on all of the plant species to place a name with the flower.

Based on the seed mix used in our project, we should expect to see the following plants bloom early season:  Yarrow, Wild Lupine, Western Spiderwort and Golden Alexander.  Mid season we expect to see:  Fragrant Giant Hyssop, Leadplant, Common Milkweed, Butterfly Weed, Wild Indigo, Rough Blazing Star, Showy Penstemon and others.  Late season our prairie should display: Yarrow, Azure Aster, Black-eyed Susan, Stiff Goldenrod and Hoary Vervain.

This prairie is right in our back yard!  I encourage you to visit the site and walking trails behind Otter Lake Elementary.  This has turned into a fantastic nature lab for the students and neighbors.  Thank you to all of the members of RCPF that made this possible!  If you cannot make it to the school - please check out the Pollinator album in the photo library and see the transformation of this site over the past 2 years.