By Louise Watson
The Gateway-Browns Creek Trail is very popular for walkers, joggers, bladers, and bikers spring-fall. Browns Creek is fun to see, the scenic views are numerous, and the plants are--well--overwhelming! "What's this?", "What's that?", "How beautiful!", and "Oh-no-buckthorn!" are common exhortations, no doubt, among the curious.
Through the SSMN What's That Plant? event, 40 small but visible plant signs went up for a week, July 1 - 7. Our sign at the trailhead from Browns Creek Park (attached) announced the event, offered plant list handouts, and SSMN business cards. Our online presence included a plant ID app: Actionbound.
A hardy thanks to Nancy Doherty for helping identify the selected plants, and grateful thanks to Barb Wahman Board, Chair of the Gateway Browns Creek Trail Association, for approving the event once MnDNR approved our permit application. The many "Thank you!'s" from walkers and bikers during my twice-daily checkups on the event signage proved to me that it was a very worthwhile endeavor. It is also another way to give SSMN visibility. We are evaluating whether an autumn event will be worthwhile, but we know for sure that come next spring we will hold this event again.
Louise Watson is a board member of Sustainable Stillwater MN, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org