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Wildberries Natural Riparian Area

ri-par-i-an adj. relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a tidewater (merriam-webster.com)

The Wildberries Natural Riparian Area is home to the perennial Fault Creek and a rich community of native willows, berries, flowering currant, red alders and other natives.  Restoration of this natural riparian area was largely funded by a grant from the California Coastal Conservancy and a donation from Wildberries Marketplace.  The restoration replaced invasive and other non-native species with grasses, shrubs and trees native to the site and provided a unique ADA accessible path through a natural riparian area.

Given the naming of the garden, existing native California Blackberry plants Ribes ursinus were conserved and several other edible native berry plants were added to the garden’s riparian plant collection including Thimbleberry Rubus parviflorus, Salmonberry Rubus spectabilis and Red Huckleberry Vaccinum ovatum.  Riparian plants are water-loving and can withstand seasonal flooding.  They play important roles in erosion control, stormwater infiltration, purification and more.

One of the main goals of providing a natural riparian area in a botanical garden is to inspire visitors to recognize the benefits of using native and riparian plantings in their gardens as a food source for both humans and wildlife, as tools to manage stormwater in the landscape and as ornamental landscape plants while strengthening the overall native plant population.

Wildberries Natural Riparian Area is a superb bird habitat and a great place for bird watching and learning about gardening for birds.  Visit our Avian Gallery.  Bring binoculars and a field guide, and do some bird watching on your next visit to the garden.

Learn your Birds (External Link to Redwood Region Audubon Society)

The riparian area is also a wonderful place to hike or to sit and gather one’s thoughts.

Lichen Covered TreeMy mind lets go a thousand things,
Like dates of wars and deaths of kings,
And yet recalls the very hour–
‘Twas noon by yonder village tower,
And on the last blue noon in May–
The wind came briskly up this way,
Crisping the brook beside the road;
Then, pausing here, set down its load
Of pine-scents, and shook listlessly
Two petals from that wild-rose tree.

(Gesner, George, ed. Anthology of American Poetry, 1983. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc.)

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Components of the Wildberries Natural Riparian Area:
Wildberries Marketplace Proudly Supports the Humboldt Botanical Garden

  • Coast Central Credit Union Walkway is a riparian window and terrace with seating that provides an opportunity to savor the biodiversity and peace of the natural riparian flora and fauna.
  • James Bridges Family Footbridge
  • John & Hannah Bergen Education Viewing Center is a circular terrace that rises out of the natural riparian area.  The hillside to the north of the terrace is retained by a concrete bench that functions as a retaining wall.  The terrace is used for events and for HBGF Education Series classes.
  • Bob & Lynne Wells Pathway is an Americans with Disabilities Accessible trail that takes visitors from the Sun Valley Greenhouse over the James Bridges Family Footbridge and up to the John & Hannah Bergen Education Viewing Center.
  • Fault Creek is a seasonal stream, which moves a little each time there is an earthquake.
  • Native Tree Allée is planned for the main pathway from the eastern edge of the Lost Coast Brewery Native Plant Garden up the hill meeting the Schmidbauer Temperate Allée.  The trees selected for the allée are Big Leaf Maples Acer macrophyllum.  Several have already been planted.

Learn more about Wildberries Natural Riparian Area on our blog.