The Taylor Pond Trail and Native Plant Garden at Kiptopeke State Park were officially dedicated and opened to the public on Friday, October 8, 2010. These two new landmarks in the park are part of a newly acquired 26-acre in-holding that brings the park to nearly 570 acres.
Department of Conservation and Recreation Director David Johnson opened the ceremonies with his appreciation of the Eastern Shore’s unique ecosystem and gave his thanks to the Eastern Shore’s Southern Tip Partnership for their tireless effort in acquiring the property.
The Southern Tip Partnership is a public and private partnership that is seeking to place land at the southern tip of Virginia’s Eastern Shore in conservation status. This project is unique in that the acquisition was jump-started through a $200,000 donation from singer-songwriter, James Taylor, who held a concert in Virginia Beach to raise money for migratory bird habitat restoration.
A grant from
NOAA’s Coastal Zone Program, managed by Laura McKay, provided further funding for the land acquisition and provided funding for restoration of the 26 acres. Hundreds of trees were planted in an effort to restore the area as migratory songbird habitat.
In addition to the tree planting, wildlife/photography viewing blinds were built and the Native Plant Garden was planted as part of the Eastern Shore Natives campaign to promote the use of native plants in landscaping.
The Native Plant Garden was designed, built, planted and will be maintained by the Eastern Shore Master Gardeners. These dedicated individuals dealt with a summer of record heat and a fall of record rain and are greatly appreciated by everyone involved.