Native Plants Sanctuary & Wildlife Habitats Demonstration Garden

Habitat restoration refers to projects meant to replenish an ecosystem‘s natural resources following natural or man-made damage. In some cases, habitat restoration is critically important to the survival of native species, the integrity of soil or water, and the continued existence of a natural ecosystem.  Our goal is to repair our ecological footprint.  Engaging in habitat restoration of any kind will help ensure the future of ecosystems that have existed before us.

In partnership with Piedmont Environmental Council, Broadlands HOA Assoc., has been organizing the“EarthDay@Loudoun Family Festival” since 2010.  The display garden has been approved by these organizations as one of the event’s funded project that will become probably the first of its kind.  This project expects to educate, and inspire home owners in the area to transform their gardens with native plants and sustainable practices.

The garden will be installed in a common area located in Broadlands community (see below) and will be open to public.  This project supports the community’s commitment to enhance and maintain wildlife habitats. Broadlands became the 25th Certified Community Wildlife Habitat™ by National Wildlife Federation in February, 2008.

During the September 2012 board meeting, Broadlands Home Owners Assoc., has approved the design by John Magee, a landscape designer located in Loudoun County who has been nationally recognized and seen in gardening magazines along with having had a special appearance as a native plant expert on Animal Planet’s “Backyard Habitat” program. 

 All About Our Plants & Their Benefits

A new aesthetic: Landscape design which includes healthy outdoors with native plants, no harmful chemicals and habitat restoration and a beautiful natural look

Purpose

  • Restore a common area that is currently covered with lawn into a garden
  • Display Virginia native plants with professionally designed garden for residential application
  • Create an inviting garden for families to explore and experience the difference
  • Demonstrate the beauty and hardiness of Virginia native plants in residential landscaping
  • Include a permanent signage at the garden to include basic information about the garden
  • Provide an outdoor environment for schools in the area for lessons on wildlife habitats
  • Provide a habitat for bird and/or butterfly watching
  • Provide a resource for seed collection

Location


Major Benefits to Public

Water Conservation

  • In addition, gardens with native plants will require less time to maintain, less watering, less chemical use and will cost less in the long run.

Demonstration & Education

  • The public will be able to see firsthand the types of plants that grow well in our area, recommended planting practices, and overall garden care. 
  • Educators will be able to use the garden as an outdoor classroom to visit with students to teach about habitats and ecology.

Providing additional online resources and information about

  • the design
  • progress as the garden is built and matures
  • annual water usage and maintenance data
  • plants, and their habitat requirements
  • environmental value
  • required maintenance
  • where these plants may be purchased
  • residents’own native garden information

Virginia natives are often overlooked by home gardeners in favor of exotic imports. Many exotic plants do indeed thrive in our environment because of a lack of natural check & balances, often out-competing native species for resources, and becoming invasive plants that cause billions of dollars in harm to our environment.  These plants often provide little or no sustenance for our wildlife companions, reducing biodiversity and straining our ecological web of life here in Virginia.

The future of landscape design calls for a resolution of these two differing criteria at work here — conventional landscape design criteria versus the need for habitat restoration with native plants and zero chemicals. Where the mistake is being made is trying to shoehorn habitat restoration goals into the conventional aesthetic criteria of landscape design.

Coverage in Leesburg Today newspaper.


Our Inspiration

Garden / Garden A comparison of native and traditional gardens in Santa Monica, Ca.


Please visit the following links for studies and additional information for the benefits of these types of landscaping practices for the homeowners, communities, and the environment. 

Virginia Tech Virginia Cooperative Extension

Benefits of Sustainable Landscaping – University of Minnesota

Comments
One Response to “Native Plants Sanctuary & Wildlife Habitats Demonstration Garden”
  1. Lola McGourty says:

    I have enjoyed living in Ashburn adjacent to Bles Park. As the relentless development gobbles up forest and field, I appreciate the people who push in the direction of native plants and the creation of islands of wetland–even in the middle of a soccer field. We are soon moving to Herndon–just over the county line and will take what we have learned with us. We jumped on the available townhouse to lease in Townes of Herndon which is right on the property edge with trees in our view. We must treasure every scrap of wild space we have. Frankly “the Hounds” helped make up our minds as we have been too close to One Loudoun for comfort.
    We were destined to be trapped by the single exit out of the George Washington University campus at the northern end of Loudoun County Parkway. Already congested at Highway 7, things can only get worse at that intersection.

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