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Mother Nature in the Metropolis

Beaver Marsh Photo- from the Bamboo Turtle blogger, Jim Lee.*

Our urban creek, the Ellerbe, runs through the heart of downtown Durham and beyond. It ultimately empties into Falls Lake which is a man made reservoir for the city of Raleigh. Much of the creek is located in urban areas and consequently is one of North Carolina's most polluted creeks. The Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association works valiantly to reduce the amount of pollution (run off and physical trash) going into the Ellerbe through purchases of adjacent land, education, and active trash clean ups. This has also spawned interest from Duke University: a trash trap prototype is being developed with the intent of catching trash before it gets a chance to go further downstream. Beaver Marsh Preserve is owned by ECWA. Underground springs feed this marsh which then drains into the Ellerbe Creek. I'm sharing photos of the marsh and it's urban neighbors. The marsh abuts a shopping center that originally housed a Kmart. Today a furniture store and Compare Foods are primary tenants.

So how does this pertain to a "small garden" blog? Be inspired. If you have a little green space, even in the midst of ugliness, nurture and plant it!

The backside of the shopping center. Members of ECWA are working with the tenants and the City of Durham to ensure this gets cleaned up and stays that way. Both tenants were contacted and the area is much tidier now as a result. These are the before photos. Dumpsters will always be there, but they shouldn't be overflowing with garbage that will enter the preserve. The chain link fence on the right abuts the Beaver Marsh Preserve.

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