Native Garden

Focus on Flowers

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Photography as Science

Sheryl Pollock is one of Wolf Trap’s many dedicated volunteers and an avid citizen scientist. Find out how her photography is helping document the flourishing native plants at the park.

Bee-ing a Citizen Scientist


Find the Flower

Flowers with rich nectar provide the main food source for bees, butterflies, and birds. Can you find these native plants here at Wolf Trap? (all photos by Sheryl Pollock)

common milkweed

Common milkweed

Purple coneflower

Purple coneflower

Scarlet beebalm

Scarlett beebalm

Black-eyed susan

Black-eyed susan

Joe-pye weed

Joe-pye weed


What's The Buzz?

As our spring and summer seasons become warmer, natural rhythms are changing. Native plants, like mountain mint and milkweed, are attuned to climate and have started blooming earlier. However, this change in tempo has caused pollinators to fall out of sync with the new timing.

Each type of plant in this garden supports about five species of pollinators, like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. When pollinators move pollen between flowers, plants can reproduce and make fruits, vegetables, and nuts. But bee populations worldwide have been declining due to disease and loss of habitat.

Listen to the Buzz!

A Place for Birds and Bees

The woods, wetlands, and meadows at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts support pollinators that help us grow food and sustain healthy gardens.

This meadow wasn’t always native. Slide the images below to see the transformation of this grassy area. Where can you plant native flowers in your neighborhood?

Before and After

The Restored Meadow



Grab and slide the handle above.

Picture our Parks

Even scientists realize the value of a photograph. It captures the scene at a specific time. We need your help to document the plants, clouds, and seasons—and how they are changing. Use the picture post to take photos and upload them here.

Upload Photos