First, thanks to the mix of sun and showers over the preceding few weeks, the wetland landscape is much more lush and green — good news for berm soil stability as well as rich habitat for many insects.
All kinds of critters have started to make the wetland their home, including frogs and at least three species of dragonfly. The first photo below shows a female dragonfly ovipositing (laying eggs) on the underside of a water lily leaf:
The vegetable garden, too, is making good progress, particularly given our late start and planting all vegetables from seed.
Earlier this week, I was joined at the wetland by representatives of the Giant Tiger store here in Devon. Thanks to the strong community focus of manager Wayne Gallant and his team, the store successfully raised over $1,000 in customer donations over just three weeks.
These funds will help provide much needed interpretive signage at the site as well as purchase marginal and water plant species for the wetland, such as arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia), spearwort (Ranunculus lingua grandiflora), pickerel rush (Pontederia cordata), and water lily (Nymphaea albatros).
Work has also continued on the Garden Creek School nature trail, with the laying of mulch and gravel successfully completed last week.
Although we initially began transporting material down to the trail using wheelbarrows, this quickly became tiring and difficult to manoeuvre, and was replaced by filling backpacks with mulch and gravel and walking them along the trail to where the material was needed.
Over the coming weeks we hope to install a number of interpretive signs, an observation platform along the creek, and a second platform under a large tree in the grassland habitat to function as a gathering space for storytelling circles.
All of this work has been made possible thanks to funding from Evergreen and the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, the City of Fredericton's Adopt-A-Lot program, the generous donations of materials from local businesses, and volunteer time and muscle power. Many thanks to everyone for their help and support thus far!
Many thanks, also, to Valerie Hillier of the Daily Gleaner for her "Green Matters" article on our school greening projects which appeared in today's edition: