Ottawa County Parks – Volunteer Spotlight

Linda Anderson

lindaandersonThe Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission is lucky to have a dedicated volunteer base. This quarter we are recognizing Linda Anderson for her excellent work at the Nature Center.

Linda is a skilled master naturalist and master gardener who helped park staff do some necessary maintenance on the overgrown garden areas in front of the facility. Linda began planning in December 2018 and since has:

• Mulched and composted
• Identified the plants that were growing in the area
• Removed weeds and over-aggressive plants
• Re-arranged for aesthetics (i.e. taller plants in the back)
• Selected and planted new species
• Created a catalog of native plants
• Created signage for the garden

”What is most special to me about working on the native gardens is seeing the plants thrive and all the insects and critters among them. I also enjoy trying to figure out what is what since I didn’t plant the gardens.”

Her advice to those looking to start their own native garden (and we hope you do!) is to remember that like all gardens, native ones need maintenance. Here are some of her tips:

• Dead-head early flowers to limit plants the next year
• Leave plants standing over winter to provide insects homes to survive, but clean up debris in the spring (when the temperature is over 50°)
• Don’t be upset if something dies—some plants do well, others won’t. Don’t be afraid to pull and/or move plants.
• Plant the right plant in the right spot: sunny versus shade, dry versus wet conditions, sand versus clay soil.