University of Louisville professor Dr. Jeff Masters and ecological sustainability director Carolyn Cromer checked on the native wildflowers and grasses in the former corn and soy bean fields at Nazareth. The fields were planted in native pollinator species in 2020, and this is the first year that they will reach mature growth. Thatch from last year’s plants are visible from the road, making it appear that the fields are “dead”, but underneath the thatch, wildflowers and grasses are growing and will start blooming soon.

(Fleabane, young purple cone flower, and black-eyed Susans grow underneath last year’s thatch.)

The dead organic matter is important for soil health; it will decompose, returning nutrients to the soil for use by this year’s growth. The native wildflowers and grasses are providing important habitat for birds, butterflies, and other pollinators and wildlife.