Friends of High Plains Refuge Complex and Texas Master Naturalists Panhandle Chapter Partnership
After a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant fell through for our Friends group due to many factors, we wrote a grant to Bring Back the Monarchs to help purchase native wildflower seeds for two pollinator gardens at Buffalo Lake and Muleshoe NWRs. Long ago our Friends organization partnered with the Texas Master Naturalist Panhandle Chapter to build and maintain the pollinator garden at Buffalo Lake NWR. What follows was written as a thank you for how the Buffalo Lake Pollinator Garden was established. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As the cicadas sang their summer song while taking in this scene, I was thankful for this pollinator garden for many reasons.
Here they are…
The first reason was friendship. The friend I was sitting by has become a dear friend and one I wish I could see every week. The other friend I was sitting by has been a best friend for a long time and I wish we had more adventures together.
The second reason was the volunteers. Both young and old volunteered their time to build this pollinator garden from constructing the petal design to planting the seeds to weeding and watering the garden.
The third reason was there was a beautiful red bench with a back that was built and donated by a volunteer. We were able to sit on this bench under an elm tree and enjoy the sounds of the cicadas. You could almost feel the love that went into the craftsmanship of this homemade item.
The fourth reason was the birdbath. It was donated by volunteers because birds and butterflies do need water.
The fifth reason was the USFWS employee who trusts with her heart. I don’t know her that well but you can tell she is a great person.
The sixth reason was the rains in 2019. Without the rains, the native prairie demonstration garden would not be as vibrant and full of wildflowers.
The seventh reason was public land. Without public lands, nature would be lost. We need public lands to protect from the tiniest wildflowers to the coyotes, turkey vultures, acorn woodpeckers – just to name a few. Wildlife needs a home just like we all do. The eighth reason goes back to friendship. Without friends near and far life would literally bite. Connections of sitting on a bench listening to cicadas and admiring the grace of flying turkey vultures are precious. Life moves quickly. Enjoy it.
Place: Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Umbarger, TX Pollinator Garden: Made possible by Bernice Blasingame, Texas Master Naturalists Panhandle Chapter, Neil Purcell, Jean Parker, Bring Back the Monarchs to Texas via Native Plant Society of Texas, and Friends of the High Plains Refuge Complex.