New Plant ID Markers at DAH Headquarters

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Thursday, October 12, 2017

Moving into a new space often comes with adjusting to the way we use the space and what we need from it, including its green space. The Department of Arkansas Heritage’s (DAH) new headquarters and grounds are no different and as the agencies that call it home become adjusted to using the space, we learn more about our needs and those of our visitors.

One recent project grew out of those needs. The DAH agencies have been in the new headquarters for a little over a year now and the grounds surrounding the building have had a growing season to show off their beauty. However, many of the employees working in the building and visitors to the headquarters have remarked on enjoying the plants, but wanting to know the name of the plants that they had been admiring.

DAH Deputy Director Rebecca Burkes came to the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC), one of the divisions housed in the building, with a project to identify and label the plants on the grounds so that employees and visitors would know what plant they were looking at. ANHC Botanist Brent Baker and Outreach Specialist Leslie Patrick immediately got to work mapping out and identifying the plants growing at the DAH headquarters. Once the plants were mapped and identified, Patrick researched plant identification markers, identifying a style and size marker that would look best in the landscaping.

Plant identification markers were designed using the common name, cultivar (if applicable), scientific name, and listing if the plant is an Arkansas or U.S. native species. Patrick and DAH Facilities Manager Charles Kirksey installed 52 4x2 inch metal stake markers throughout the grounds. Some markers were duplicated where plants occur in more than one area or bed on the grounds. Not only do the markers help employees and visitors identify the plants, but they also educate visitors about the diversity of native plants that can be used effectively in formal landscaping.