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Takoma Park – 1st Wildlife Habitat-Certified Community in Maryland!

Wildlife-friendly cake, and Mayor Bruce Williams receiving award from NWF’s Roxanne Paul

Congratulations are in order for that hotbed of gardening, Takoma Park, Maryland, for winning certification as a Wildlife Habitat Community – the first in Maryland!  Joining just 50 other communities in the U.S. (so far).   The effort, started back in 2005, was led by Bruce Sidwell on behalf of the terrific environmental group Friends of Sligo Creek, and I was part of the little committee of conspirators in my role as president of the Takoma Horticulture Club.

Is it terrible to admit we’re happy about beating out our closest competitors for the first-in-state distinction, Rockville and Bowie?  Well, a little competition is a good thing when it’s for a good cause, and this is a good one.  So readers, what about YOUR town?

Click here to find out what it takes to become a more wildlife-friendly community, and get certified to help spread the word.

FOSC’s Bruce Sidwell led the campaign.

Takoma Park’s Celebration

The fun event took place Sunday afternoon in Spring Park, one of Takoma Park’s three wildlife-certified parks, with Bruce Sidwell as the Master of Ceremonies.   Which ceremonies included saxophone music, a reading by the city’s poet laureate Anne Becker, a ceremonial planting of three Viburnum nudums, presentation of the award to Mayor Williams by Roxanne Paul on behalf of the National Wildlife Federation, and a choral rendition of “O, Takoma” to the tune of “Oklahoma!” Some select lyrics include:

O, Takoma, home of hippies aging gracefully,
And of trees preserved, energy conserved,
And a true quest for equality.

Yep, that sounds like the place!

Refreshments included the lovely cake in the top photo and a surprisingly delicious mustard garlic spread – like pesto but zestier, and a great use of one of the worst invasive plants in our area.  Ingenious!

by Susan Harris

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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