Planting the sun and the moon

Y.O.U. group after Harbert planting

“I love getting dirty!” Just what we like to hear when a group of young people come out to work on the channel project. Armed with trowels and abundant energy, a Y.O.U. afterschool group from Edison Elementary joined us Thursday to plant wildflowers and grasses around the Harbert Park overlook.

Over the last few weeks, older volunteers had cleared buckthorn and honeysuckle, and a city crew had planted shrubs on the steep slope leading down to the channel. The new plants are all native to this region and provide pollen, nectar, seeds, and berries used by native birds and butterflies. Among them are a vine called moonseed (Menispermum canadense) and compass plant (Silphium laciniatum), which resembles a very tall sunflower. As one of the young men said: “We’re planting the sun and the moon!”

— Wendy Pollock