Cardiff Hill updates
From left, Frank Dvorak, Kristy Trevathan, Gale Rublee and George Wisdom work to enhance Becky’s Garden at Cardiff Hill Overlook with pollinating native plants.

Members of the Mississippi Hill Master Naturalists recently planted some additional native plants at Becky’s Garden at Cardiff Hill overlook, which is a Hannibal Parks & Recreation property.

The garden was established in 2006 by Girl Scout Troop No. 37 and has been enhanced as a native garden by the Master Naturalists.

The Master Naturalists group has removed several truckloads of invasive species from the garden and around the steps to the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse. Recently, the group planted more milkweed, columbine and aster plants, which will attract bees, butterflies and birds.

Gale Rublee, Hannibal Parks & Recreation nature interpreter and founding member of the Mississippi Hills Master Naturalists, said, “These native plant gardens are so important to our native pollinators like the monarch butterfly and our native bees.”

She noted that a lot of the native plants will bloom through the late summer and into the fall so she encourages Hannibal residents to visit the garden often. “This oasis of native plants is so important to our native community, the bugs and the birds and everything else.”

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri pollinators:

  • ants
  • bees
  • beetles
  • butterflies
  • flies
  • hummingbirds
  • moths
  • wasps

Pollination occurs when pollen is moved within flowers or carried from flower to flower by pollinating animals such as birds, bees, or other insects or animals or by the wind.

Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are nearly as important as sunlight and water to a plant, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. As pollinators fly from plant to plant, they transfer pollen from one flower to another. Flowers use the pollen to make seeds, which grow into new plants.

More information about the garden is available on the Hannibal Parks & Recreation website and social media sites under Nature Moments with Gale.

The Mississippi Hills Master Naturalists chapter was formed in August of 2018 with the mission of citizen science, community projects, nature interpretation, and community nature education.