Bellevue, Ohio is located at the southern edge of the Lakes Plains 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 30,000 square-foot section of the lawn on the east side of the property, The Bellevue Hospital Foundation Centennial Prairie supports beneficial pollinating insect populations, song birds and the beautiful native plants that support them.
Visitors need to understand that prairie grasses and forbs can take two to three years to grow to maturity, to produce flowers. The Centennial Wildflower Prairie began in 2016. Last year's growth was a bit weak and thin, as the prairie plants first grew their roots deeply into the soil the first year. This year, the prairie plot has become more dense, with a greater number of flowers in bloom, primarily Black-Eyed Susans. These will begin to fade in August, but other prairie wildflowers will begin to appear. Yet to appear are the tallgrasses, which may take another year. The prairie will continue to flourish over time.
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 Gardner, who has been responsible for all of the prairie seeding and maintenance.
Plants in the following list, given by common name, were planted in the Fall of 2016.
- Indian Grass
- 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