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Carrie T. Watson Garden Club Restores Native Plants at Presque Isle State Park


March 16, 2023

Working with the next generation to grow their future

Over the past three years, the ladies of Carrie T. Watson Garden Club in Erie, PA have joined forces to restore native plant communities on Presque Isle State Park. Working with the local Regional Science Consortium and its Horticulture Education Specialist, Jen Salem, they’ve focused on the propagation of plants known to be beneficial to pollinators. They also involved members of their junior gardener’s “Rosebud” group in hopes of educating a future generation about the impact of invasive plants.

Initially, the group toured the park’s greenhouses and plant labs to learn how seeds are collected and dried. They explored the woods near Tom Ridge Environmental Center and examined native plants while removing invasive plants.

Under Salem’s direction, they learned how seeds are collected. Then they made seed balls using clay, potting mix, and thousands of milkweed seeds to make 350 seed balls. This March the junior gardeners will distribute the seed balls at Presque Isle to encourage a more welcoming monarch habitat.

The club and its members, junior and regular, also planted over 1,000 native plants on the park grounds. The native plant species will help support a healthy ecosystem in the Erie community by providing food and shelter for native insect, bird, and mammal populations. 



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