Riverside Park now has a pollinator garden located in its southeast corner in between the service building and ball fields. The project began when Jackson Fisher, who coordinates activities for the Friends of Riverside Park, a subcommittee of the Riverside Neighborhood Association (RNA), was approached by Cara Fiore about finding a spot for milkweed for butterflies and by Rhiana Scholz about growing wildflowers for bees. Scholz told SouthBMore.com her interest in this was spurred by the declining bee population in the United States.
Riverside Park currently has eight other citizen-managed gardens, but there was not a good location to devote solely to pollinators, according to Fisher. John Vickers, head of the Carroll Park division of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, suggested the grassy parcel adjacent to the service building and fields and offered to till the location using City equipment.
To raise money for the garden, Fiore, Fischer, and Scholz organized a happy hour and guest bartending fundraiser at Captain Larry’s and raised almost $900. This money was used to purchase seeds from Ernst Seed Company in Pennsylvania and fencing for the garden.
Work began on the garden this past Monday with the help of about 35 volunteers, including 20 children, many of which were from a Girl Scout Daisy and Brownie troop. The volunteers cleared trash and sticks, leveled the site, spread the seed, and installed a temporary fence. A few homegrown sunflowers were also transferred to the garden.
A permanent fence will be added once the garden establishes itself.
Scholz noted that there are plenty of opportunities for area residents looking to get involved in the Riverside Park gardens. Volunteers can reach out via RNA’s website.
Photos courtesy of Rhiana Scholz
Happy Hour at Captain Larry’s