Bellevue, Ohio is located at the southern edge of the Lake Plain Prairie Region near the north edge of the Central Till Plain Prairie Region. The Firelands Prairie extends from the eastern edges of Bellevue to Huron.
The once abundant prairies of our region supported many native grasses and wild prairie flowers (called "forbs"). These plants, in turn, supported diverse bird, animal and insect populations. Over time, after settlement and modern development, prairie plants and the wildlife they supported have become scarce.
Over the last few years, The Bellevue Hospital Foundation has worked to help return a portion of the hospital campus to native prairie. By installing a 13,000 square-foot section of the lawn on the east side of the property, the hospital's Centennial Prairie supports beneficial pollinating insect populations, song birds and the beautiful native plants that support them.
Prairie grasses and forbs can take two to three years to grow to maturity, to produce flowers. The Centennial Wildflower Prairie began in 2016. Now in its third growing season, the prairie continues to flourish.
A big "thank you" to John Blakeman of Meadow Environments LLC for his design expertise and his continuing advice on this project, and Bob Beck, Master Gardener volunteer, who has been responsible for all of the prairie seeding and maintenance.
In recognition of the time and research Bob Beck and his wife Ellie have contributed to the success of the prairie, this piece of property on The Bellevue Hospital campus was named The Bob and Ellie Beck Centennial Prairie and Wildflower Garden on June 18, 2019.
The following is a list of plants represented in the prairie:
- Indian Grass
- Wild Poppy
- Partridge Pea
- Ox Eye Sunflower
- Yellow Coneflower / Grey Headed Coneflower
- Black-Eyed Susan
- Common Milkweed
- Wild Bergamot
- Tall Coreopsis
- Hairy Sunflower
- Prairie Dock
- Whorled Rosinweed
- Stiff Goldenrod
- New England Aster
- Sawtooth Sunflower
- Foxglove Beardtongue