Starting with a 100 acre woodlot, Sanctuary founder and benefactor – Monson, Massachusetts native Arthur D. Norcross Jr. (1895-1969) – bought, bartered and traded to amass over 2,000 acres that he dubbed the Tupper Hill Sanctuary. Today, the Sanctuary is operated by the Norcross Wildlife Foundation and has grown to over 8,000 acres of forests, meadows and wildlands in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The Sanctuary is managed and maintained for the benefit of native plants and animals of New England, as Mr. Norcross originally directed.
Nearly three miles of walking trails traverse a variety of habitats and naturalistic wildflower gardens in the 75 acre Pocket Sanctuary, which represents the diversity that can be found at Tupper Hill. Plants grown here are native to the eastern seaboard, from the Carolinas to Canada.
Hundreds of plant species can be found in the various habitats and 14 gardens maintained at the Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary. This walk will highlight different species of the Asters and Goldenrods. We will focus on their use in the garden and include discussion of species selection for different sites. Additionally, we will talk about the propagation of various species, as well as how to collect and sow seed. Because this group of plants is also critical for our pollinators and bird species, we will focus on who uses what plant and why they are so important. This walk will also include the “not quite aster species,” such as Oligoneuron, Euthamia, Eurybia, and Symphyotrichum.
You are welcome to bring a lunch to enjoy in the picnic area at the conclusion of the tour.
Leslie Duthie is a horticulturalist at Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary. She has dedicated her career to learning about, gardening with, and propagating native plants. A life-long gardener, Leslie’s devotion to ferns began the first time she grew a fern from spore. The gardens of Norcross are full of plants that she has raised and her knowledge of the ferns is extensive. Leslie has a BS in Plant Science and has experience in greenhouse growing of both landscape plants and native plants. She works with the local Land Trust and Conservation Commission to preserve land for both our native plants and wildlife as well as for people to enjoy.
Dan Jaffe has over ten years’ experience with ecological horticulture. He is a propagator of native species, the photographer and co-author of Native Plants for New England Gardens and a lecturer on numerous topics including pollinators, sustainable landscape practices, foraging and cultivation of edible species, low-maintenance horticulture, and others. He has developed a native plant horticultural database and has years of nursery management experience. Dan earned a degree in botany from the University of Maine, Orono, and an advanced certificate in Native Plant Horticulture and Design from New England Wild Flower Society. He is a horticulturalist and propagator for Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary in Wales, MA.