RIO GRANDE – In a designated "no-mow" zone of Middle Township's Wisting Recreation Complex, members of the local Environmental Commission set into the ground an array of plants Nov. 2 that will someday attract butterflies and birds.

The meadow between the tract's wooded area and the amphitheater was transformed by volunteers wielding shovels and bending over to tuck the potted plants into the soil.

Larissa Smith was joined by Josh Nemeth, Vilma Pombo, Emily Hesier and Don Nemeth.

The three dozen native plants included a favorite of Monarch butterflies, milkweed.

The area will not be mowed, said Smith, to permit it to be welcoming to bees, butterflies, birds, once they go to seed, and other pollinators.

The plants were purchased through grants from Atlantic City Electric and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Smith said it's the commission's hope that another grant might be secured to permit wider plantings. Further, she believes it will become a demonstration garden for others who may want to plant similar gardens on their property to feed hungry pollinators.


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