Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Spring 2015 Newsletter

2015 Events at the Gardens!
Annual Bare Root Trees, Shrubs & Perennials Sale – April 25, 26, May 2nd 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Members only shop early on April 25th at 9 a.m.

We need volunteers for our annual plant sale!. To read about the different positions and to sign up, go to
www.SignUpGenius.com/go/20F084EA8AE22A4FC1-bare/
Questions? Please contact Jillian Echlin, Event Coordinator at info@naturescaping.org or 360.737.1160.

Art in the Garden July 12, 2015
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

NatureScaping and the Hardy Plant Society Clark County Chapter are hosting the 3rd Art in the Garden Event in the Wildlife Botanical Gardens. Mark your calendars to visit on July 12th to see our beautiful gardens and all the art!

Clark County Master Composter/Recyclers are hosting their event the same day in their Compost Demonstration Site.

Lots of fun and education for visitors for both events through a great partnership of Clark County gardening groups!

Mason Bees in the Gardens
Written by Brigg Franklin, Bee Herder

Mason Bees are one of several hundred bees native to the Northwest. Unlike the imported European Honey Bees, Mason Bees do not make honey, do not live in a colony, and do not sting; however, they are very good pollinators. Mason Bees carry their pollen on body hairs rather than pads on their legs, so this allows more of the pollen to transfer to the next flower visited. Since Mason Bees are solitary, they are not affected by the colony collapse now decimating the Honey Bee population.
However, Mason Bees are being decimated by our use of insecticides and urban growth.
Our Mason Bees are kept in two shelters in the gardens and are about ready to start emerging from their winter sleep in their cocoons. After mating, the female bees will start building mud chambers in the hollow tubes, gathering pollen, and laying an egg in each chamber. The female bee lives for about six weeks and then dies. Over the summer, her eggs will hatch into grubs that eat the stored pollen. These grubs will then build a new cocoon and metamorphose into a new bee ready and waiting for the next spring. During March and April, please feel free to stop by our Mason Bee shelters and watch the busy bees hard at work gathering and building.
Brigg Franklin will sell Mason Bee Cocoons at our Bare Root Trees, Shrubs and Perennials Sale.

Geocaching in the Gardens
Written by Brigg Franklin, Geocacher

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt game played by over two million geocachers with over six million geocaches in 184 countries. There are even geocaches on the international space station and also located 2,300 meters below sea level. One of the best geocaches is in the Wildlife Botanical Gardens! Geocaches are located using the GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates of latitude and longitude and a GPS receiver such as is found on most smart phones. Each cache contains a log book to record your visit and, depending on its size, may contain SWAG (Stuff We All Get) toys.
Our garden Geocache has been visited by over 100 geocachers and has received multiple “favorite points,” making it one of the most liked in the Pacific Northwest. This is because the gardens are such a beautiful place to visit and because the garden’s Geocache is an “offset cache,” meaning there are clues to its location in each of the eight gardens that must all be found to obtain the final coordinates. Each clue is a small tag with a picture of Signal the Frog (the Geocaching mascot) and a letter and number code. These clues are easy to find at the side of each garden path. When you find the tags, please leave them where they are. Sometimes “Muggles” (non-geocachers) make off with these tags, so they must be replaced. If you find that one has gone missing, please notify Brigg Franklin, our geocache manager at info@naturescaping.org.
To learn more about Geocaching, visit the website www.geocaching.com, sign up for a free membership, and visit our Wildlife Botanical Gardens cache page designated as GC1GNJR.

New Picnic Tables
Written by Martha Stephenson, Manor Garden Coordinator

The Manor Garden now hosts a brand new, round, picnic table in its entrance area and the old table that looked pretty worn and ragged has a new look thanks to Eagle Scout Braden Oehler. Braden is in Troop 367 and met with Martha Stephenson, Manor Garden Coordinator, several times to talk about design and size. Braden completed all the work independently. The new round table easily seats 6 people. That old worn and half rotted picnic table was refurbished and carried to its new home in the NW Natives Garden. Come visit the Gardens and enjoy a picnic at one of these new additions. Thank you, Braden, and Battle Ground Ace Hardware who donated the hardware for Braden’s project.

Training
WSU Clark County Extension is currently accepting applications for Master Food Preservers. Volunteers must attend 50 hours of training. The training is for those interested in sharing their knowledge about safe food preservation at community events or classes. Applications are due by April 10th and classes start April 17th. For more information and application go to http://ext100.wsu.edu/clark/?p-1146 or call Sandy brown at 360-397-6060 ext 5700 or email at browns@wsu.edu.

Amphibians
Written by Meredith Hardin, President

In early March, I met with Irene Catlin, teacher with Battleground School District CASEE Center, and amphibian expert. Irene and I searched for amphibian egg masses in the NW Natives Garden pond and the Manor Garden fountain as part of the volunteer program headed by Peter Ritson, Environmental Scientist.
In fifteen minutes, we found about 15 PSRE or Pacific Tree Frog egg masses and about 25 AMMA or Long-toed Salamander egg masses. Wow…to think all these are right under our noses when we gaze into these waters! You can help next winter to search for pond breeding amphibians and their eggs. Check out Peter Ritson’s project at www.swampproject.org.
May 16th, Irene Catlin is teaching a class for NatureScaping on Amphibians. Children are welcome and there will be hands on activities.
Come learn how to make your fountain, pond or wetland inviting to native amphibians. More information to come!

Support NatureScaping through your Fred Meyer Rewards Card Community Rewards Program at www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards. Select NatureScaping of SW WA and Fred Meyer will donate to us. You still earn your rewards.
When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to NatureScaping. Bookmark the link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/93-1166487 and support us every time you shop.

We are an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are appreciated!