Wayne’s focus for River Bend Gardens is the restoration of natural plant communities historically present on the property, while his aspiration for the gardens is to accent areas with Edwardian style bed design employing only native species.
Trails are being developed to establish a two-mile parameter path with another two miles of ancillary trails to access areas of interest where benches will be placed to enjoy views, and aviaries designed into the landscape.
The gardens are being designed and developed in areas of priority demonstrated with the colors presented on the map.
The green highlight represents the area of highest priority which are the hay fields under restoration to Dry Mesic Prairie, along with the Oak Opening, and Dry Mesic Southern Forest to the north.
The area in orange is the next area of priority where we are cutting new trails that will connect the east side of the property to the west, and provide access to a mix of communities present from Dry Mesic upland planted with non-native conifers, to a small area of addition Floodplain Forest where we are working to install a rain garden.
The blue color to the west is the Floodplain Forest. This natural community is in the best condition where the primary effort will be managing invasives, establishing a hiking trail, and adding species appropriate plantings.
Lastly, the area in red are the wetlands creates by springs which flow to the south and ultimately empty to the river. This area of the property holds the Wet Mesic Prairie which is in the worst condition compared to the other natural communities present. The Wet Mesic Prairie area will require significant restoration efforts to eliminate cedars and other woody succession plants that have penetrated the area due to the absence of fire in the landscape.