Native Plant Garden to be Added to Starke County Forest Parking Area

The Starke County Forest will soon get a native plant garden. The recently-upgraded access road now ends at a circular parking loop, with an open space in the middle.

The Starke County Park Board agreed Tuesday to let Naturally Native Nursery of South Bend fill the space with a colorful arrangement of flowers and grasses. Rough Blazing Star, Smooth Aster, Black-eyed Susan, and Prairie Flox are among the types of flowers that will be included.

Forester Bruce Wakeland presented the proposal. He said he would help maintain the new garden for the first couple years, but it shouldn’t require much work after that, since most of the plants are perennial.

The plants and installation are expected to cost $1,050. That will come out of the Forest Fund, which is funded by the forest’s timber sale revenues.

A cost estimate was also presented for a linear planting along the west side of the road, but Wakeland and the park board said they’d rather keep the space open for overflow parking.