MARGATE – Sustainable Margate, the city’s green team, Monday Aug. 19 provided the community with a brief presentation about the benefits of native plants at the city’s Native Landscape Garden located on the corner of Winchester and Vendome avenues next to the Margate Municipal Building.
The event was held to commemorate the installation of new signage that identifies several native plant species.
Sustainable Margate Chairman Steve Jasiecki informed spectators how how the garden was developed.
“The garden was created three years ago to introduce residents to the variety of native plants that are indigenous to the barrier islands of New Jersey,” Jasiecki said. “Increasing native plant population benefits the insects and bird populations that depend on them for food and shelter.”
Jasieck said no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers are ever used in the garden, so no poisonous runoff will enter the storm drains leading to the bays and ocean.
Sustainable Margate received a Sustainable Jersey grant to install the garden with the help of South Jersey Surfrider Foundation. Native landscape gardener Josh Nemeth designed the layout and supplied the plants. Margate Public Works Department did the heavy lifting by removing the old lawn and tilling and prepping the soil for planting.
Mayor Michael Becker, who was in attendance, was very pleased with the new signage.
“Education is what it’s all about” he said. “Knowing what you are looking at helps the people identify the types of plants they can plant at their homes.”
Green team member, gardener and naturalist Bob Blumberg talked about garden maintenance.
“They do require work,” he said. “The plants spread their seeds and roots and can pop up in other areas so you have to keep an eye on them. Mulching helps keep the weeds at bay. If left alone, the seeds will spread, which is what happens in nature, but to prevent crowding you do need to remove the plants that pop up where you don’t want them.”
A native plant garden provides nourishment for birds and bees and butterflies.
“Pollinators bring life to your garden and are essential if we are to continue to have plants on this planet,” Blumberg said.