Native plant garden thrives at Tom Ridge Environmental Center

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The greenery surrounding the Tom Ridge Environmental Center was designed to be a native plant garden.

It’s a place where visitors can find native plants, vines and trees.

Fontaine Glenn was live from Presque Isle with more.

Now for people visiting Erie, or someone like myself who is not from Erie, looking at all these plants surrounding Tom Ridge may look unkept, but it actually looks exactly the way it was planned.

The concept of the native plant garden that you see at Tom Ridge is full of native flowers, trees and vines.

These all attract native wildlife from white-tailed deer to butterflies and insects. The vegetation have become a huge food source for native animals.

It is also a way to showcase many of the plant species that can also be found in the state park.

The building was built to take advantage of the lake breeze and the garden helps filter pollutants in the rainwater runoff.

“Everything from native trees to smaller vegetation, with a specific concern to things that are good for wildlife. Serviceberry is one of the trees, and that is a tree that produces fruit that native birds love in the early part of the year,” said Anne Dessarro, environmental education supervisor, Presque Isle State Park.

Anne says at the beginning of the summer these parking lots are full of birds eating the berries.

To learn more about the native garden and other species in the state park, stop by the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

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