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Attracting wildlife using native plants subject of next Tryon Garden Club meeting Jan. 16

The Tryon Garden Club will meet on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Foothills Equestrian Nature Center with a program on attracting wildlife to one’s garden using native plants. 

Dale Weiler, a wildlife sculptor, and his wife, Loti Woods, will discuss how they are transforming their backyard into a native plant haven for wildlife. 

The program, which begins at 2 p.m., is free and open to the public.

They will also share their story of meeting late in life and combining their passions for wildlife conservation. Out of this love for conservation came a new interest in gardening and creating a habitat to attract wildlife.

In the process of removing invasive plant species from their property, they have uncovered a number of native plants hiding under the surface. Working with a native plant landscaper, local nurseries and gardening friends, they have added numerous plant species to their garden. 

Their discussion will include which plants attract which kind of animals. In just the first year, they have seen much more wildlife activity, they said.

Weiler and Woods own Weiler Woods for Wildlife, which uses his sculptures to inspire wildlife conservation by raising awareness and funding for endangered animals and their habitat. Weiler will bring some of his wildlife sculptures, which were inspired by observing nature close to home.

His latest wildlife sculpture, “Hellbenders Rock,” of an Eastern hellbender, was installed in a new hellbender exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo this last spring. 

He is currently finishing a sculpture of a red wolf mom and her pup. The only wild population of red wolves in the world lives in North Carolina, on the Eastern Shore.

FENCE is located at 3381 Hunting Country Road, Tryon. Those interested in learning more may call 828-859-9021 or visit FENCE.org.

– Submitted by Lucy Brannon