New garden brings pollinators to Paint Creek Trail

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published July 21, 2020

 There is a new pollinator garden on the  Paint Creek Trail approximately 1/4 mile north of Tienken Road  in Rochester Hills. The garden is named in honor of the late  David Moutrie, who was a trail ambassador.

There is a new pollinator garden on the Paint Creek Trail approximately 1/4 mile north of Tienken Road in Rochester Hills. The garden is named in honor of the late David Moutrie, who was a trail ambassador.

Photo provided by the Friends of the Paint Creek Trail

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ROCHESTER HILLS — Bicyclists, runners and anyone else utilizing the Paint Creek Trail can explore a new pollinator garden approximately 1/4 mile north of Tienken Road in Rochester Hills.

The garden — courtesy of The Friends of the Paint Creek Trail in conjunction with the Paint Creek Trailways Commission — is named in honor of the late David Moutrie, teacher, environmentalist and supporter of the Paint Creek Trail.

Moutrie, a former teacher for 27 years, also served as a Paint Creek Trail bike patroller from 2005-2011.  He died at the age of 67 in 2012, and he was greatly admired for his dedication to the trail, according to Louis Carrio, the president of the Friends Group.

“He was a teacher and an active environmentalist and a nature lover. He was also considered an ambassador on the Paint Creek Trail because he worked with the trail staff and would help people on the trail. He was a very highly regarded, active person,” said Carrio.

Much attention has been paid as of late to the issue of declining pollinator populations and the vital role bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles play in agriculture and ecosystems. Experts say monarch butterflies — along with bees and other pollinators — are responsible for pollinating one-third of the world’s food supply.

The Moutrie Pollinator Garden features low-maintenance, native plants in support of pollinators and was designed and installed by Ray Wiegand’s Nursery. The garden includes numerous pollinator-friendly plants, such as butterfly milkweed, arrowhead viburnum and autumn brilliance serviceberry.

Carrio said the garden is an important community enhancement because there are thousands of visitors to the trail annually, and this garden site is along the most heavily traveled section. There is a pedestrian path through the garden, and Carrio said some benches will be added in the coming weeks for trail users to enjoy the flowers and visiting pollinators. The group also plans on adding educational signage about the critical role of pollinators and how the plants in the garden support their existence.

“The signage is in development right now,” Carrio said.

Paint Creek Trail Commission Chairman Rock Blanchard, who headed up the pollinator garden project along with Carrio, said he is pleased to see the pollinator garden planted.

“It looks great. The reaction from the trail users has been overwhelmingly positive. I am looking forward to putting in the final touches and to a summer of enjoying the flowering plants and bees and butterflies,” he said in a statement.

The garden, which cost just under $20,000, is supported by donations from the Moutrie Family and Friends, the Rochester Junior Women’s Club, the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, the Sammy C. & Betty R. Cupp Foundation Fund, WCI Contractors Inc., Audubon Bird Society, Ray Wiegand’s Nursery, The Preede Foundation, Tim Moutrie and Dean Fitzpatrick.

Donations to support the initiative are still being accepted. Checks payable to the Friends of the Paint Creek Trail may be mailed to: Friends of the Paint Creek Trail, 4393 Collins Road, Rochester, MI  48306. A note should state the donation applies to the Moutrie Pollinator Garden.   

For more information about the Paint Creek Trail, visit www.paintcreektrail.org or call (248) 651-9260.

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