On May 7. 2019, 30 Texas Master Gardeners visited Port Jefferson History & Nature Center to hear about and see for themselves the certified wildlife habitat’s native plantings. Sponsored by the Texas A&M University AgriScience Extension Service, the group headquartered in Marshall, has members from Panola, Harrison, and Marion counties where it is one of the most effective volunteer programs in the state. Gary Endsley and Sara Griffin of Collins Academy spoke about the various plantings and answered questions about the finer details of raising and maintaining them.
One of the primary purposes of the Park is to provide good habitat for endangered pollinators such as the Monarch Butterfly. With five varieties of milkweed, the Park’s support for Monarchs is quiet obvious to even a casual observer.
The group of 30 Texas Master Gardeners are pictured at Port Jefferson History & Nature Center.
Monarch larvae and eggs on common milkweed. Host plants
and sources of nectar for butterflies and honeybees.
A love of gardening and search for knowledge is central to why Master Gardeners join the program. They remain Master Gardeners to enjoy the camaraderie and friendship of others who share their interests, to gain and share horticulture knowledge, and to give back to the community. Though Texas Master Gardeners are united in name, the program’s strength lies in its ability to meet the diverse needs of the individual communities it serves. By combining statewide guidelines with local direction and administration, the program offers the flexibility necessary to keep it a vital and responsive organization that serves all of Texas. Harrison County has one of the strongest groups in the state.
Collins Academy Landscaper Sara Griffin
and Director Gary Endsley explain the
value of certain plantings to the group.