CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Members of a local landscape architectural group tilled, weeded and planted along the walking paths at Magic Island on Saturday in an effort to add a little color to Charleston's riverfront park with a variety of wildflowers.
In about four weeks, black-eyed Susans, purple coneflowers and a mix of perennials will blossom along the park's trails, said Rob Dinsmore, president of the American Society of Landscape Architects' West Virginia chapter.
The park gets a lot of wear from local events, and other than the grass and river, there is not a whole lot of color or aesthetic appeal to the area, Dinsmore said.
The hope is that the new wildflower gardens will attract more people to the park and spark other beautification efforts across the city, he said.
On Saturday, about five members of the professional landscape architectural group worked on two 600-square-foot plots along the walking trails in the park. The group plans to continue to work on Magic Island during the last weekend of every month, and is looking for volunteers to help create accent gardens along all of the park's walking trails.
The planned gardening events also are a great way for local residents to touch base with certified landscape architects to talk about projects on their property or in their neighborhood, said Ryan Seacrist, secretary of the ASLA state chapter.
This is a chance for the community to meet with people who do this for a living, who understand soil, drainage, plant life and terrain, Seacrist said. There is no better group than landscape architects to help with sustainability efforts, flooding and stormwater drainage issues, he said.
Saturday marked the organization's first of many community projects, Dinsmore said. The goal is to become an established outreach organization in the community that focuses on improving local parks, walking paths and neighborhoods.
It builds community pride when people enjoy parks and walking trails, he said, and that will spur more projects across the city.