The goal of the "Park of all Seasons" is to increase the biodiversity of plants and trees throughout the park so that patrons can experience a different park every season; flowers in the spring, fruit in the summer, fall foliage and evergreens in winter. This is accomplished through various projects, including the Edible Arbor Walk and Pollinator Gardens.
Elgin Memorial Park is a beautiful 28 acre park along Main Street. The park is filled with hundreds of mature Cedar Elms providing shade for patrons and homes to birds. While these trees provide many benefits, they are also a monoculture, which means a lack of biodiversity in the park. Through the work of volunteers, Elgin Memorial Park will be transformed in to a vibrant and diverse park that is engaging in every season.
Edible Arbor Walk Project
The Edible Arbor Walk Project began in 2018 with the planting of a handful of donated fruit trees. Year after year the Elgin Parks and Recreation Department partners with the community to plant new fruit, shade, nut, and evergreen trees in Elgin Memorial Park to increase the biodiversity in our park, provide hands-on learning opportunities, and allow park patrons to grab a snack straight from the tree.
Trees are donated by individuals and organizations such as Million Trees Across Texas. Trees are cared for by individual volunteers.
Elgin Recreation Center Pollinator Gardens
Beginning in 2019, the landscaping around the Elgin Recreation Center has been transformed from a monoculture of santolina, to a thriving pollinator garden. Volunteers work with staff and donated plants to build habitats for wildlife of all sizes, from host plants for caterpillars, pollen plants for bees and butterflies, thicket for birds and puddling spots for toads.
This project is supported by donations from local organizations like Down Home Ranch and individuals, as well as volunteer hours from organizations like Ranch House Recovery, and individuals.
The Stepping Stone: Texas Native Restoration Area
Areas of native habitat are divided in to "patches", "corridors" and "stepping stones". The Elgin Recreation Center Pollinator Garden is one stepping stone for pollinators, and this Texas Native Restoration Area will be our second, creating a habitat for aerial creatures such as birds, bats, butterflies, arboreal animals such as squirrels, snakes, snails, and terrestrial animals like frogs, lizards, possums and more.
Trees are planted in abundance and close together, interspersing plants and shrubs to recreate a natural, native landscape. Once established this area will require minimal care and upkeep and will become a "No Mow" area.