(Asheville, NC) - In May, a moss garden will be installed at Rainbow Mountain Children’s School in West Asheville. The garden is donated by Dulcita Love who met Annie Martin of Mountain Moss Enterprises at a Women in Business networking event hosted by VERVE magazine and Boca restaurant earlier this year.
Annie caught Dulcita’s attention when she mentioned that there are over 450 species of moss in Western North Carolina and moss does not require the fertilizers, chemicals, and mowing that other traditional landscape options require.
Annie Martin, aka “Mossin’ Annie”, will install a moss garden and incorporate a “Going Green with Moss” lesson with the The Third Grade Penguins. The students will assist in the garden installation which will include rescued moss from Dupont State Forest and elements such as lichen sticks, nut pods, acorn caps, snail shells, ferns and other native plants.
Teacher, West Willmore, with a background in natural sciences and environmental education, will collaborate with Mossin’ Annie to create a lesson plan that includes the sciences, arts, and fun. Rainbow Mountain Children’s School places a strong emphasis on cherishing the Earth and has an outdoor classroom to bring the students outdoors. Under the direction and leadership of Renee Owen, Executive Director, the school will increase their focus next year on the outdoor environment of the school. Moss will be one way to enhance the grounds, educate students on local flora, and reduce long-term maintenance costs.
Mossin’ Annie writes:
“Like "Penguins", mosses even like the cold and can be found growing in Antarctica. Mosses grow in all types of environments around the world. Phenolic compounds are like built-in antifreeze. This fact, among other amazing botanical characteristics, emphasizes the variety of bryophytes and their ability to survive extreme conditions.
With this "hands-on" living environmental art project, students will learn various bryophyte types (botany/science); how certain mosses solve environmental issues (environmental science/ecology); and how they can be creatively used in the landscape (art). This moss garden feature will provide delight throughout all seasons, even the winter, and opportunities to keep on learning for years to come.”
Tammy Watford of WLOS TV will film a Never Stop Learning segment during the moss installation and lesson.
In addition, Annie Martin is runner-up for the Big Idea Business Plan Competition sponsored by VERVE and AdvantageWest and will receive a featured story in VERVE magazine.
Annie Martin, mountainmoss.com
Dulcita Love, dulcitalove.com
Rainbow Mountain Children’s School, rmcs.org
Verve magazine, vervemag.com
Dulcita Love Consulting
Mountain Moss Enterprises
Forrest and BellaLuna Sleeper
Sarah Corley and Neil Peterson
Rob and Caroline Rodier
Donna Burkett and Julian Ferris
The Attorney Search Group
Plant and Rock specimen donations for this educational/environmental art project:
Dr. and Mrs. Morris Jenkins, Brevard - Rocks that can grow mosses on their surfaces, a few larger ones for the students to sit on, 50 more smaller rocks for decorative elements, and Iris crystata (Dwarf Crested Iris) from their property in Lake Toxaway. Dr. Jenkins is a physician. Mrs. Jenkins (Molly) is a Transylvania Master Gardener. Dr. and Mrs. Jenkins also donated time to help dig Polytrichum moss colonies from DuPont Forest rescue site.
Ted and Karen Ramsaur, Cedar Mountain - Appalachian polypody ferns (rock ferns -- smaller size ferns with horizontal root systems that can grow in the cracks of the pond wall and be used in groupings with decorative rock elements to create additional interest). Ted and Karen have always been big supporters of education. Currently, Karen serves on the board of the "Muddy Sneakers" environmental education program in DuPont Forest.
Moss Garden News & Mentions:
May 2011: WLOS TV News 'Never Stop Learning' (A short commercial runs first.)
"Last month, (Annie Martin) helped a class at the Rainbow Mountain Children’s School in Asheville install a moss garden in an outdoor playground." ~ VERVE magazine
July 2011: July 2011 The Laurel of Asheville - pages 44-45
Story: Dulcita Love with excerpts from Annie Martin
Photo: Dulcita Love