Take a drive among the wildflowers; Manager Noles beautifies the Village with a burst of brilliantly colored flowers
Todd Noles, Hot Springs Village POA Common Property, Forest, and Wildlife Manager, has an ambitious plan. Todd intends to seed much of DeSoto Boulevard roadside with wildflowers. This task is not an easy or quick one. It requires Todd to walk the length of DeSoto Boulevard’s sloping roadside and hand sow the flower seeds.
You may have noticed Noles has already begun the task with the pretty Black-eyed Susans blooming on large stretches of DeSoto roadside. Unfortunately, these flowers are fading fast as their season is from May to October. But look out for next spring when their blooms will be greater and better than ever.
Additionally, Todd planted a mix of purple Coneflower and Indian Blanket. This initial planting is only the beginning of the Forest Manager’s plans to beautify the drive down this major Hot Springs Village thoroughfare.
Wildflowers for erosion prevention
In addition to making our Village a more beautiful place, the wildflowers help to prevent erosion. Perennial wildflowers serve as a notable option for the deterrent of soil loss on sloped areas. They have a deep, hardy root system and keep coming back year after year. No mowing is required.
In 2019, Entergy donated $1,500 toward the purchase of wildflowers for erosion prevention. In addition to the funds donated by Entergy, First Electric donated pollinator plant seeds.
Wildflowers afford ecological benefits
Noles also seeded Butterfly Milkweed along the bottom of our lake dams where the dams seep. According to Todd, Butterfly Milkweed thrives in a damp environment. The website, Monarch Joint Venture says, “Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed; their caterpillars only eat milkweed plants, and Monarch butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs. With shifting land management practices, we have lost much milkweed from the landscape.”
National Geographic says the Monarch butterflies “teeter on the edge of an extinction tipping point—in which their numbers drop too low for the species to recover.”
Wildflowers have a positive effect on our ecosystem. Creatures such as the Monarch Butterflies, Bumble Bees, and Honey Bees’ very existence is dependent on plants such as these.
This is only the beginning
Next year Noles has plans to do another wildflower seeding and wants to expand the varieties of flowers for a more significant infusion of color along the DeSoto corridor. He will be requesting additional funds from the power companies for this project.
ARDOT Operation Wildflower
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (ARDOT) also has a wildflower program. The PDF below identifies 24 different varieties of Arkansas wildflowers. This PDF is part of a free brochure available from ARDOT. For more information on Operation Wildflower, please click the red link at the beginning of this paragraph.wildflowrs-of-the-arkansas-roadways
* * *
This story is typical of many Hot Springs Village employees who work hard and take pride in their work. Todd Noles leads by example and exemplifies these two concepts.
Hot Springs Village employees are much appreciated, and we are blessed to have them. We will all be sure to remember these hard-working folks the next time we take a drive among the wildflowers.
* * *
One way to show your appreciation to the Hot Springs Village POA employees is to donate to the Village Employee Benefit Fund. This fund provides an end-of-year gift to Village employees and also helps them in times of emergency. This organization is independent of the POA. Click here to visit the Village Employees Benefit Fund website. Thank you for your generosity!
Just for fun, below is a YouTube video of Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt singing Wildflowers. Enjoy!
Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt – Wildflowers
* * *
By Cheryl Dowden, October 3, 2020