Most of us know the story of the ugly duckling. A baby swan is hatched by a mama duck. That baby looks ugly next to the baby ducklings. He gets mocked and made fun of by the other animals all summer, winter, but by the next spring everyone discovers that the ugly duckling was a beautiful swan all along.

It’s a great metaphor for many things in life. And right now, it’s a great metaphor for our retention basin. We are about to kill off the grass in that area and it’s going to look ugly. But once that grass is dead, we are going to plant a native short-stature prairie seed mix. Half the seed mix is grasses like virginia wild rye and little bluestem, and half flowering plants like Common Milkweed, Rough Blazing Star, and Black Eyed Susans.

It will take a couple of years for these new plants to really take hold and look like something beautiful. But it will be worth the wait. It will add some beauty to the area and be a friendly place for birds, butterflies, and all kinds of insects.

If you want to know more about how native plants benefit the eco-system, mark your calendars for August 12 when we’ll have a tour of our the native gardens.

Image by USFWS Mountain-Prairie – Monarch on Rough Blazing Star, CC BY 2.0,