Clinton Conservancy Gardens and Clinton Green Team worked with the Town to design and plan a wildlife habitat for birds and butterflies at Water Street Park and butterfly/pollinator gardens along the fitness trail leading from the soccer fields at Hunts Mill Park to Pond Ridge Court.
Sedges and perennials will be planted along waters edge and shrubs and trees tucked in amongst the existing trees. Spring flowering bulbs will be planted on the berm and ferns and wildflowers on the parking lot side of the park. A Monarch Waystation will welcome butterflies, and butterfly host plants will provide food for other types of butterfly caterpillars.
This would not be possible without the $10,000 grant awarded by Sustainable Jersey and their partners including the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program . Program underwriters include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program and the Surdna Foundation,
A lot of work goes into writing a grant and it involves the help of many people. First, a thank-you to Mayor Kovach and the Town Council for their support. Al Rylak, Councilman, Smart Growth Committee Chair and one of the founding members of the Conservancy was instrumental in gathering a group of like-minded residents. Councilwoman Beth Sosidka, also a founding member, is passionate about beautifying the Town and started work immediately. She is also the group's "cheer leader" and a constant support. Kathy Madden, a later addition to the Conservancy, worked with the Clinton Guild, Hunterdon Art Museum, Red Mill Museum Village and the Conservancy to get them all on board supporting her vision. She developed a mission statement for the Conservancy and wrote the grant application with assistance of Deena Roberts, Chair of Clinton Green Team who worked towards defining the "Actions" of the Green Team and how the grant proposal supported those goals. Other Green Team members reviewed the application and offered suggestions. Bob Smith, Councilman and major supporter is responsible for getting the Boy Scouts involved and Kim Rogan, the Girl Scouts. Without the help of Clinton Presbyterian Church volunteers cleaning up and removing a winter's worth of twigs, branches, leaves, and trash, the Water Street Park would not have been ready for planting to begin.
Sharon Wander, President of the New Jersey Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association provided valuable informations on butterflies, best pollinator flowers, and host plants for this location.
Cinny MacGonagal, President of the Hunterdon Chapter of the Native Plant Society is always planning programs and outings that excite and inform. These programs and excursions were valuable learning experiences.
Megan Joans-Holt is jumping on board, along with the Clinton Rotary, and has offered their support.
Now the work begins.