Oct 3, 2023
The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
PARKERSBURG — A celebration for the exhibition beds of native plant pollinators will be held 5 p.m. Wednesday at Plants at the Point, a collaborative community garden operated by the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The garden is adjacent to the Welcome Center by the floodwall in downtown Parkersburg. A $2,000 gift from the Rotary Club of Parkersburg funded the project.
The community joined together to support native pollinators of all kinds, Mark Lewis, president and CEO of the bureau, said.
“I encourage everyone to join us for this celebration of the work to help save honey bees, native bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other important North American pollinators,” Lewis said.
Plants for the beds were purchased from Native Roots, Inc., a local nursery that specializes in native wildflowers.
Three exhibition beds were prepared and planted with assistance from the Wood County Master Gardeners Association, West Virginia University Extension Service and Agent J.J. Barrett, the Rotary Club of Parkersburg, Native Roots and staff from the bureau. Assistance with the signs was provided by WVU Parkersburg.
Pollinators are responsible for helping more than 80% of the world’s flowering plants to reproduce and are important for the health of ecosystems. Without pollinators sources of food would be diminished, said Lewis, citing a Cornell University study indicating one-third of all the food we eat is the direct result of animal pollinators.
“These perennial flower beds will not only add beauty to the community gardens and enhance the experience of our tourism visitors, but will provide the setting for educational presentations on the importance of native pollinators to the food chain on which we depend,” Lewis said. “Planting pollinator friendly plants is an important step that we can all take to help bees make a comeback.”
The raised beds for the garden were in disrepair when the bureau purchased the building in March 2022. Rather than dismantle them, the bureau renovated them as part of its mission to create a vibrant community space in downtown Parkersburg.
The Community Garden consists of 48 raised beds of varying sizes that are available to the public to rent for the growing season each year.