An Island resident points out that blossoms of the Vine Maple, the October “Plant of the Month,” provide nectar for hummingbirds. Photo courtesy of Meg Lippert

An Island resident points out that blossoms of the Vine Maple, the October “Plant of the Month,” provide nectar for hummingbirds. Photo courtesy of Meg Lippert

Residents learn about plants, birds through sign program

Sings are displayed as educational outreach of Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks.

  • Thursday, October 11, 2018 12:36pm
  • Life

On the first day of every month for the past six months, laminated posters have been mounted on the reader board at the entrance to the native plant garden in Mercerdale Park. Photos and information about the “Bird of the Month” and the “Plant of the Month” are displayed for park visitors as an educational outreach program of Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks (CCMIP).

Facts of note: May’s featured bird, the Anna’s hummingbird, can nosedive at a speed of 60 mph; the chestnut backed chickadee (June’s bird), flies in a bouncy flight path; July’s Plant of the Month, salmonberry, provides nectar, berries and nesting cover for birds; In August, visitors learned to discriminate between native trailing blackberry and invasive Himalayan blackberry; September’s featured bird, the song sparrow, appropriately named, knows as many as 20 tunes, with some 1,000 variations.

The October Bird and Plant of the month posters are now on display. (Spoiler alert: The October Bird of the Month is the spunky red breasted nuthatch.) The posters are supported by a grant from the Washington Native Plant Society, which also funded the purchase of 50 permanent plant signs, many with color photos. The signs have been installed in the native plant garden to help visitors identify native plants.

For more information, to volunteer in the garden, and to sign a statement of support urging the city council to protect all of Mercer Island’s public parkland, go online to or email

More in Life

Islander recalls filming ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Meredythe Glass was an extra in the 1939 film, and is possibly the last surviving cast member.

Motivation springs us to action

Maintaining New Years Resolution momentum through entire year.

Mercer Island school news in brief, Feb. 6, 2019

MIHS junior perfect ACT; Reception on Feb. 11

Mercer Island Preschool Association wins 2019 MIYFS Philanthropy Award

MIPA has a strong partnership with the city, raising thousands each year for preschool scholarships.

‘Defense Ninjas’ instructor Fauzia Lala and COO Kate Warady demonstrate how to break a wrist grab in a workout room at Redmond’s DaVinci Academy on Jan. 15. Katie Metzger/staff photo
Women become ninjas in local self defense classes

Instructor and Mercer Island resident Fauzia Lala aims to empower women to protect themselves.

King County Library System (KCLS) is named the leading U.S. library with 4.8 million digital checkouts in 2018 for the fifth year in a row by Rakuten OverDrive. Photo courtesy of KCLS Facebook.
King County Library System exceeds 1 million digital checkouts in 2018

KCLS leads the record for the fifth year in a row

Mercer Island Art Walk is Friday, Saturday

Second opening added for month of February.

The Mercer Island City Council honored Kari Anderson (center) for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award at a council meeting in 2018. Also pictured is Jennifer Wright, MISD executive director of Learning Services (right) and Mayor Debbie Bertlin. Photo courtesy of Janet Piehl/Girl Scout Leader Troop 43142.
Eastside Girl Scouts earn Gold Awards

Girl Scout girls make a difference in their communities

See artists ‘in action’ on Mercer Island

Northwest Artists in Action will host a second pop-up demonstration on Feb. 2.

From left, keynote speaker the Rev. Harvey Drake, pastor of Emerald City Bible Fellowship in the Rainier Valley, poses for a photo with the 2019 winner of the Covenant Shores Spirit of Martin Luther King Award, Yosh Nakagawa. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
Harvey Drake headlines MLK event

Covenant Shores held its annual Martin Luther King observance on Jan. 18

Mercer Island’s newest peace pole unveiled at Covenant Shores

The pole is placed near the campus sign, which is the first mile marker of the Rotary Half Marathon.

Schools news in brief

Kindergarten registration; The Bridge recognized