Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy installed a pollinator meadow along Harrison Street near downtown Leesburg along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail with partners Friends of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority, and support and funding from the Leesburg Garden Club and Loudoun Wildlife members and volunteers. An unveiling ceremony of the newly installed interpretive panels with partners and supporters will be on October 28 at 4:00 pm. The ceremony will include social distancing and COVID-19 precautions.
Volunteers planted 1358 native plants including 264 grasses and sedges and 1094 fords on 7,600 square feet. These plants provide a vital habitat for pollinators, seed eating birds, and other wildlife, providing an example of an aesthetically pleasing meadow created from native plants. Interpretative signage was installed to explain the project and educate residents about the importance of native flora and the benefits native vegetation provides to wildlife.
Birds seen enjoying the meadow include the white-throated sparrow, American goldfinch, ruby-throated hummingbird, gray catbird, and tufted titmouse. Many butterflies including monarchs, red admirals, viceroys, and eastern tail swallowtails are frequently seen, as well as red-legged grasshoppers, common eastern bumble bees, honey bees and spotted orb weavers.
“We are extremely grateful for funding from the Leesburg Garden Club to be able to install signage along this beautiful pollinator meadow. This meadow provides tremendous benefits to our pollinators and other wildlife, and it’s a great example of how wildlife habitat can be created in small spaces. We hope the residents of Leesburg and recreational users of the W&OD Trail enjoy this meadow as much as we do,” states Michael Myers, Executive Director of Loudoun Wildlife.
Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy appreciates all that helped bring this project to fruition, including Earth Sangha and Watermark Woods for supplying the native plants, Pulse Design for fabricating the interpretive panels, Manuel Rivas of Northern Virginia Property Services for installing the interpretive signs and maintenance, Susan Abrahams, Conservation Landscaper, for her time and instruction on how to design and maintain a meadow, Ann Garvey for bringing a vision to reality, and the 20 volunteers that donated more than 100 hours of their time.