BRISTOL - Page Park received an environmentally friendly makeover this past week.
Several volunteers from the Farmington River Watershed Association, a nonprofit organization that protects rivers and wildlife within the area, spruced the park up with a variety of native plants and grasses as well as a new rain garden.
“It took about a year to plan and get the city’s approval for the rain garden,” said volunteer Aimee Petras. “But we’ve had several adult volunteers help with the rain garden, as well as two large student groups from Bristol Eastern High School help.”
The garden wraps around a shed in the park. Petras explained that the city of Bristol installed gutters around the shed and the Farmington River Watershed Association designed and planted the garden.
“The rain water from the roof will travel down the gutters and catch into the stone basin at the bottom. This water will help support the native plants,” explained Petras.
Some of the native plants featured in the rain garden include inkberry, winterberry and a variety of native grasses.
“The importance of this rain garden is to attract pollinators, like birds and butterflies. These types of native plants are excellent because they can survive periods of drought and have food that animals eat. It’s a beautiful park and should attract animals,” Petras said.
Volunteer Laura Hart, an environmental scientist, has been volunteering with the Farmington River Watershed Association for the past two years.
“I love gardening and I love working youth groups, like the high school kids we had yesterday,” she said, “This is our first project here and we’re hoping to finish it by today or tomorrow.”
Not only is the garden environmentally friendly and beautiful to look at, it’s also educational.
“We’re going to place signs, which were supplied to us by Thomaston Savings Bank, around the garden. The signs will say what the plants are, what a rain garden is, how to start your own rain garden and what to do to help the environment,” explained Hart.
The Farmington River Watershed Association is located in Simsbury and has been dedicated to protecting and preserving the Farmington River and its watershed since 1953.