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Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve logoCONTACT:
Shannon O’Brien: (603) 778-0015
Rachel Stevens: (603) 778-0015
September 2, 2011

Volunteers Needed September 24, 2011, for New Wildlife Garden in Stratham

GREENLAND, N.H. -- The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is creating a new backyard wildlife garden demonstration area on a new conservation property on the shores of Great Bay.  Located in Stratham next to Chapman’s Landing on the Squamscott River, the wildlife garden will be established and maintained by community volunteers.  It will be a place where people can come learn how to enjoy a beautiful, low-maintenance backyard, while providing shelter, food and water for wildlife.  You'll pick up other green tips here, too, such as using a rain barrel and creating “no mow lawns.”  The property already hosts a wildlife viewing platform that overlooks the salt marsh and an osprey nest. 

Partner groups such as the University of New Hampshire’s Cooperative Extension and Thompson School, along with Woodburn & Company Landscape Architecture, LLC, have been integrally involved in the planning and preparation for the project. Funding is being acquired from various organizations, including the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

A volunteer group work day has been set for Saturday, September 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering a chance for interested community members to get involved with the project.  Volunteers are needed to help pull out invasive plants, build garden beds and construct paths. These “Work Day Wonder” volunteers will celebrate National Estuaries Day and National Public Lands Day by “wrenching” out invasive plants at the community garden site.  Learn how to use specialized tools called “Weed Wrenches” to remove some of the invasive woody shrubs and clear the way for spring plantings. 

The Reserve is particularly looking for some dedicated volunteers to help with this project by participating in planting, care, and demonstrations.  As a “Wild Side Gardener” you can adopt a plot, such as a butterfly or "xeroscape" garden (composed of a selection of plants that need little to no extra watering), and show off your green thumbs by helping it thrive, just as if it were your own backyard.  This committed group will establish their roots next spring and help choose the design of the garden this winter.

If you're interested in volunteering as a “Work Day Wonder” and/or “Wild Side Gardener,” please contact Shannon O’Brien at Shannon.obrien@wildlife.nh.gov or call (603) 778-0015.  For questions regarding this project, please contact Rachel Stevens at Rachel.stevens@wildlife.nh.gov or call (603) 778-0015.

Learn more about the project at http://www.greatbay.org/programs/HelpCreateaBackyardWildlifeGardenDemonstrationArea.htm.

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
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