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A pollinator garden could soon be coming to Fred Brooks Triangle Park on Marion Street

BUCKHANNON – The new City of Buckhannon Parks and Recreation Board voted to construct a pollinator garden at the Fred Brooks Triangle Park on Marion Street.

Anne Wilson, the manager of the Colonial Arts Center, attended the Feb. 2 Parks and Recreation Board meeting to discuss a collaboration with Lewis County.

Anne Wilson

“I attended a conference back in October in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina with a team of seven folks comprised of people from Buckhannon and also some folks over in Lewis County, and we went in with the intentions of creating a cross-county partnership,” Wilson said. “We wanted to begin with this seed grant application they presented to every team that attended the conference. We were trying to formulate a project idea, and between Create Buckhannon and Lewis County, they came up with this idea to have pollinator gardens, one in Jawbone Park and then one in a park in Weston as well.”

However, after some discussion before and during the meeting, other locations in Buckhannon were explored.

“I’ve talked to [city officials] Amby [Jenkins] and Jerry Arnold, and I need to get in contact with a group of people to determine where we are going to put the garden — that’s all up for debate right now,” Wilson said. “Jerry will be a part of that decision-making and ensuring it will be in a location where patrons won’t be bothered by insects, bees, anything like that.”

Board member Debbie Shapiro suggested placing the garden in a less crowded park, and mayor Robbie Skinner suggested the Fred Brooks Triangle Park if the dimensions would allow it.

“I think what we need to do is figure out how much space is needed, how much sunlight is needed, and how much diameter space is needed,” Skinner said. “We can go ahead and say if it checks all the boxes, the park at Marion Street would be a good spot for the pollinator garden.”

The organizations involved in the project include the Lewis County Blueprint Community, the Colonial Arts Center, the Lewis County Commission, the Lewis County Economic Development Authority and the Upshur County CVB. Wilson hopes this will launch a partnership with other neighboring counties as well.

“We could focus on other natural resources and highlighting those, because we see the increase in tourism in West Virginia and we think that creating this project will heighten those tourism features that we’ve been trying to bring to Buckhannon,” she said. “This would also create two sister wildlife areas in our counties, and this would be a great opportunity to have them as certified wildlife habitat locations through the National Wildlife Federation.”

The board voted to place the pollinator garden at the Fred Brooks Triangle Park if the space meets the garden’s needs.

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