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HILLSVILLE ― The new Beaver Dam Garden at the Carroll County Public Library was inspired by the abundance of wildlife along the Beaver Dam Trail.Volunteers with the Hillsville Natural Heritage Project wanted to bring a touch of the town's much-used walking trail to Main Street by planting a bed of native flowers at the library.
Observers can now learn about beneficial domestic flowers by checking out the plot between Main Street and the gazebo. (A fact sheet about the plants is available from the librarians.)All the flowers ― from the butterfly weed to the violets ― provide food to birds, bees and butterflies in the forms of nectar and seeds.
Several of the plants also serve as butterfly hosts, which means they give caterpillars what they need to get their wings.Taken together with the existing American hollies, dogwoods, conifers and other mature trees, the library grounds can sustain birds and beneficial bugs with food, water, shelter and places to raise young ― all the items needed to increase their numbers.
Many people deserve credit for making the Beaver Dam Garden possible, including Alan Webb's agriculture class at Carroll County High School for growing many of the flowers from seeds in their greenhouse; Joy Ranch for providing the labor to kill out the grass without using chemicals; and master gardeners and naturalists for their input.Special thanks go to Ruth Bunn of Barefoot Gardens and Sherry Foster, both of Fancy Gap, for providing transplants; to Poor Boy's Variety at 13598 Fancy Gap Highway in Cana for contributing the concrete birdbath; to Woodlawn Landscape Supply at 332 Carrollwood Drive for donating mulch; and to the the ladies of Connection 6D vocational program at Southwest Virginia Training Center for making and donating the sign.
• For more information on the Hillsville Natural Heritage Project, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or search for the page on Facebook.