GROTON, Conn. – The adage “Bloom where you’re planted, but be open to cross pollination,” was literally put into practice at Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) New London recently.

Personnel assigned to Environmental Division planted gardens with flowering plants to promote pollination onboard the base as well as contribute to the beauty of the environment, June 4.

One garden was created near Ramage Hall, base headquarters, and a second was created behind the base commissary and Navy Exchange (NEX), near Tang Ave.

The project was the brainchild of the SUBASE New London Environmental Program Director, Michael Brown, as he thought of new ways to implement the base Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan (INRMP).

“We get a certain amount of money every year to advance our INRMP,” said Jane Urban, the Environmental Division team member who oversaw the bulk of the planting. “One goal of the INRMP is to increase native habitats throughout the base. Mike’s idea to create pollinator gardens was a perfect fit.”

As the base is compact and fairly well developed, planning is key in determining areas on the installation to increase habitat and natural spaces with such initiatives as the gardens. From site location to plant choice, the environmental team thought of everything before Urban and Julie Oakes, another member of Environmental Division, began the hands-on elements of the project.

Un-potting plants and digging holes for them in the mulch and soil in the garden next to Ramage Hall, Urban and Oakes explained that the plants are all native to eastern Connecticut and will bloom at various times so at least some should always be flowering.

“We have brown-eyed Susans, bee balm, wild indigo, butterfly weed, ironweed, asters, goldenrod, and purple coneflower,” said Urban. “We have only native species, and they’re perennials, so they’ll grow back every year. It’s a nice variety that’s always blooming.”

For the garden behind the commissary and NEX, Urban noted that its larger size allowed even more goldenrod. Wes Dawley and Eldon Clement of the Public Works Department assisted the Environmental Division with this garden by creating a wooden frame for the garden, prepping the soil, and providing a watering system.

Having started in the morning, Urban, Oakes, and Nicole Hester, also of the Environmental Division, completed both gardens by the middle of the afternoon and mused about the moths, butterflies, and bees, the all-important pollinators, that the gardens will attract.

“Ecological initiatives can take many forms,” said Urban. “Here at SUBASE, these gardens are of the floral variety, and Sailors and pollinators alike can enjoy them.”

“Some SUBASE Good News” (SSGN) is an effort to provide uplifting stories about the personnel, programs, and initiatives that help make Naval Submarine Base New London, “The First and Finest.”

Connecticut Media Group