Rose Creek Community Nursery Proposal Exploration

Rose Creek Community Nursery

Arboretum, native plant showcase, and native plant community nursery

Exploration for Proposal

This proposed program of The Rose Creek Initiative would propagate native plants for local parks, green spaces, and yards, while providing areas for growing tree seedlings and other plants to be distributed throughout the community. The main focus is supplying native plants for environmental restoration and community greening initiatives. Volunteers gain experiential education, and partnerships with educational groups for workshops are encouraged.

Native Plant Propagation: Specialize in propagating native plants for local parks, restoration projects, community green spaces, and yards.

Native Plant Showcase: Fill Rose Creek Park with an array of native species — a sanctuary for local pollinators, birds and other wildlife. (This unique site is at the intersection of four different EPA ecoregions.)

Park and Trail Enhancement: Coordinate getting rid of invasives. Provide the space and organization for growing trees and other native plants for the trail and park to provide a habitat corridor for wildlife. If possible the corridor should  also follow the creek itself to the river.

Community Distribution: This is key: the community nursery is hybrid. Some plants are grown at Rose Creek, others grown in volunteers’ yards, greenhouses, and other places. Some tree seedlings and other plants would be are available for local residents, community groups and greening projects. So while the nursery is physically distributed over a large area, it’s coordinated. Some plants may never see Rose Creek itself, but may go from one person’s yard to another’s.

Volunteer Involvement: At the heart of the nursery, volunteers gain hands-on experience with native plants as they help with propagation, planting, and nursery maintenance. They learn the importance of native species to local ecosystems and how to grow and share plants.

Education Partnerships: Collaborate with local environmental groups to make the location available for workshops and hands-on educational events focused on native plants and ecological restoration.

Horst Rittel  Melvin Webber wicked problems

35 South Central Plains (light green, in Rose Creek Park)

36 Ouachita Mountains (green, in Rose Creek Park)

37 Arkansas Valley — ¼ mile away (orange, Rose Creek by Episcopal school is in it)

73 Mississippi Alluvial Plain (pink, 1.5 miles away)

Unique in the US? — Four Ecoregions and the Edge Effect

Besides being only 1,500 feet from the State Capitol rotunda, Rose Creek Park boasts another interesting feature. Although small, Rose Creek Park spans both the South Central Plains and Ouachita Mountains EPA Ecoregions and lies within two miles of the Mississippi Alluvial and Southeast Coastal Plains ecoregions. This area is most likely the only place in the nation where four EPA Ecoregions converge. When ecoregions come together, they form a biodiversity hotspot where species from different ecosystems can coexist. This often leads to the presence of rare and endemic species. The boundaries where different ecosystems meet, known as ecotones, typically offer unique environmental conditions. These areas can support species from nearby ecosystems as well as species that specialized in living in transitional zones.

A native plant community nursery where volunteers can:

  • Learn the difference between native and non-native plants, and learn to easily identify plants with ID apps
  • Take plants home, spreading through the community, and grow plants in their yards to share with others
  • Be part of a big science experiment making a tangible difference to the local environment
  • Increase park use as they engage and return to see plant progress
  • Benefit from sharing knowledge between volunteers
  • Bring their own unique skills, knowledge and networks

Community Nursery next steps (not always linear)

  • Form an organizing group of passionate volunteers.
  • Working within the broader Rose Creek Park plans, evaluate the site and gather information on native plants and required permits.
  • Define the nursery’s mission, design the layout, and develop a timeline and budget.
  • Obtain necessary permits from local authorities.
  • Set up infrastructure, remove invasive species, and prepare planting areas.
  • Train volunteers in native plant propagation methods.
  • Engage the community through workshops, partnerships, and events.