The Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes Chapter (BRFAL) of the Virginia Master Naturalists held the first of a continuing series of lectures concerning our natural world open to the public and sponsored by the Smith Mountain Lake Association.
Our first presentation was held on a rainy afternoon at the wonderful local attraction, the Booker T. Washington National Monument auditorium, on Saturday March 14, 2015.
Our guest speaker was Mr. Robert Jennings of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Robert is a grassroots field specialist for the Blue Ridge, Piedmont and Valley regions of Virginia. He works with the Virginia government officials in Richmond to advocate clean water policies. His topic for the day was
Alter-NATIVE: the benefits of landscaping with native plants to beautify your property and reduce stormwater run-off
Robert’s presentation lasted about and hour and a half was both very informative as well as entertaining. We learned that by utilizing Virginia native species plants we can reduce watering and fertilizing needs since these plant grow here naturally. Native species plants are deep rooted compared to turf grass and therefore hold soil in place to minimize erosion, while better retaining the moisture in the soil and trapping nutrients and sediment.
Robert suggested many native trees, shrubs and wildflowers that all provide the benefits mentioned above, but they also provide significant benefits to our natural species wildlife by providing both nourishment and habitat and all these creatures to survive heat, cold and drought.
A number of brochures were available for our guests to take home with them. We had to judge our day as a success. We had 55+ participants, gained lots of good information and had some good laughs to boot.
So if this sounded interesting to you, mark your calendars for:
Our Water Wise event being held on Sunday April 12th from 1:00-4:00pm at the 4H Center to learn more about protecting our beautiful watershed.
Also, our next speaker series at BTWNM is being held on Saturday May 16th to learn about our native bird species.
WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOU THERE!