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Volunteers needed for Sleepy Hole buffer

The Nansemond River Preservation Alliance is looking for more volunteers to help maintain an essential park buffer on Saturday.

Volunteers will meet at the riparian buffer and native plant arboretum by the pier at Sleepy Hole Park in North Suffolk. The work on Saturday will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Equipment will be provided, but volunteers are encouraged to bring gardening gloves, hard rakes, pruning shears and shovels if they own them.

NRPA members and volunteers will prune and move several trees, shrubs and other plants at the site, all of which act to reduce pollution that’s carried into the Nansemond River by stormwater runoff. The native trees and shrubs also serve as habitats and food for butterflies, insects and birds.

“It’s the regular process of … removing any dead trees or shrubs that didn’t survive the winter, and to do an inventory of what we have so we can plan for the future,” NRPA President Elizabeth Taraski said.

High school students can earn community service hours, and all citizens will observe native plants that can inspire their own gardens at home. Taraski said that the beautyberry at the site looks especially delightful, as it has flourished over the winter.

“It’s an outdoor classroom for citizens to learn about what plants, native trees and shrubs they might be interested in planting in their property,” she said.

Email Taraski.nrpa@gmail.com for more information.