Native Plants take root in Mason Wallace Park


Mason Wallace Park welcomes the first of three Native Plants Plots. The idea for the plots sprang after the park’s revitalization celebration in May of this year. And Mason Wallace Park Advocates (MWPA) set out to make it happen.

Stephen James designed the landscape plan for the 125’x10’ area to include nearly 100 individual plants—across 11 different species—as well as several small boulders. This first plot is a sun-loving site, stretching along the left side of the back parking lot. MWPA worked with Lisa Tompkins, owner of Carolina Heritage Nursery, to source the species they desired.

Native Plants Plot 1 Design Plan

Click to expand.

“Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s Horticulture Manager, Phillip Clarkson, has been so supportive of the project,” said Dave Molinaro, leader of MWPA. The County helped prepare the site for planting and also provided mulch.

Prepped site at MWP

With the site and materials ready, MWPA rallied volunteers for a morning work session on Saturday, November 19. Lisa delivered a truckload of healthy plants, and in under two hours, the volunteers got all of the plants in the ground and mulched.

Native Plants
tucking in the native plants

The First 3-Year Life Cycle

If you go by the park, you will see a large area of mulch with boulders and a series of tiny flags sticking up. Watch your step! Those plant babies are in the ground. During the first year, they’ll sleep. In Year 2, they’ll creep. And in Year 3, they’ll leap. The plot design above details the species’ scientific names and locations, while the collage below shows how the matured plants’ blooms may look in their future glory.

Collage of native plants blooms

Funding for the first plot

MWPA secured a grant from the B.W. Wells Stewardship Fund, a North Carolina Native Plant Society (NCNPS) program that supports community projects like native plant garden installations and habitat restorations. (NCNPS also helped fund Charlotte Wildlife Stewards’ planting of native wetland plants at the Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary a few years back.) We will keep you informed of future opportunities to contribute time and treasure to Plots #2 and #3.

Thank you

Thank you to Mason Wallace Park Advocates, community volunteers, Mecklenburg Park and Recreation, Lisa Tompkins of Carolina Heritage Nursery, and everyone championing the project. Work will continue next spring with the installation of shade-loving Plot #2.

Work Crew Nov 19

  Monroe Road Advocates (MoRA) is grassroots group of volunteers from Monroe Road neighborhoods, businesses, nonprofits, and schools. We’re connecting community in the corridor from Lupie’s/7th Street to NC-51.