Attracting more bees, butterflies goal of Glen Osborne park group

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | 4:45 PM

Sewickley Valley garden groups are competing for the most aesthetically pleasing pollinator garden as Mary Roberts Rinehart Park works on attracting more bees and butterflies.

The Osborne Trail and Park Association (OTPA), which manages the Mary Roberts Rinehart Park in Glen Osborne, received a $3,500 grant from the Sewickley Valley Community Fund in February. The money was used to expand the space that is currently used for a pollinator garden — for more pollinator gardens.

“The goal is for it to be attractive to more bees and butterflies,” said Bill Boswell, OTPA’s president and former Glen Osborne mayor.

He and the other board members found six garden clubs from the area to commit to planting native species of plants and flowers in plots of the expanded garden, about 12 feet each.

“We told them to plant it the way you think looks best. We want the plants to be indigenous to the area and colorful,” he said.

Each club has until June 18 to get the flowers and plants in the ground. Then, on June 23, OTPA will sponsor a private wine and cheese party in the park where judges will decide which plot is the most colorful and attractive to pollinators.

The park, which is funded in part by Glen Osborne Borough and other donations and grants, has had a pollinator garden on its upper walking trail for about four years after construction of the joint Aleppo-Glen Osborne-Sewickley sewer line along Ohio River Boulevard cleared the way.

Boswell said about $125,000 has been invested in the park since its inception in 2006. That mix of public and private funding has brought walking trails, a noise barrier, information signs and posts, the pollinator garden and benches.

Boswell also expects to replace a guard rail along the park’s boundary with Beaver Street. The OTPA is applying for a $57,000 matching grant from the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development in May to fund a wrought iron fence. If accepted, the association would need to raise around $8,500.

Boswell said it’s worth it.

“(The park) is a community resource,” he said. “There’s no other park in the area. Our focus has been on having a naturalized park where people can walk and see different things … we’ve basically taken an overgrown, messy property where generations of kids have played around in and have made it useful to them, their family and friends.”

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2325, or via Twitter at @dillonswriting.