Thursday, October 22, 2020

BJNC Receives $50,000 Matching Funds Grant from City for Pollinator Garden

BJNC Pollinator GardenWith a mission of protecting local natural resources and fostering education about the natural environment, it makes complete sense Bob Jones Nature Center & Preserve (BJNC) is seeking funds to develop and construct a pollinator garden on its property within Bob Jones Park. BJNC made a huge leap toward its fundraising goal of $100,000 on November 18 when the Southlake City Council approved a matching funds request up to $50,000 for the project. The funds will be paid from the Southlake Parks Development Corporation (SPDC) and the project was recommended for approval by the Parks Board as it is in keeping with the 2030 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan.

The pollinator garden will create a living, interactive classroom where children and adults can learn about the roles of plants, pollinators, and other wildlife in sustainable ecosystems, including:

  • Xeriscaping
  • Micro-irrigation
  • Rain water collection
  • Native plants and plant ecology
  • Pollinator ecology and lifecycles
  • Toad habitat
  • Animal tracks

The pollinator garden will replace the current butterfly garden area with a larger, more inclusive habitat specifically designed to sustain pollinators, birds and other wildlife, and serve as an educational venue. The project includes multiple habitats with a wide variety of host, nectar and sheltering plants, a bubbler-type wildlife water source, micro-irrigation, walkways, seating areas, education stations, and appropriate signage.

The project will be implemented in phases due to availability of resources, planting cycles, volunteer labor, and securing support for ongoing maintenance. The design for the pollinator garden is complete and hardscape elements are underway; landscaping will begin spring 2015 and community planting days will be announced.

According to Lori Higgins, BJNC executive director, funds raised at Naturally Sweet on November 1 are earmarked for the pollinator garden, but they are still seeking contributions to meet the $50,000 goal (of which the City will match), both cash and in-kind donations.

“We do not yet have a final number from Naturally Sweet 2014, but we are still raising money and would appreciate any support from the Southlake community.”

Located within Bob Jones Park, which encompasses nearly 500 acres and is the city’s largest park, BJNC opened in April 2008. In addition to offering nature classes, guest speakers, exhibits, guided hikes, day camps, outdoor concerts, and a gift shop, a top priority for BJNC is to preserve and conserve a prime remnant of the Cross Timbers ecosystem – a vast mixture of grasslands and woodlands stretching from Canada to South America and encompassing most of the park’s 500 acres.

BJNC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in partnership with the City of Southlake. It relies on corporate sponsorships, private donations and volunteers for daily operations, programs and events. BJNC is located at 355 E. Bob Jones Road, Southlake, Texas, 76092. For more information, call 817-939-1110 or go to www.BJNC.org.