YORKTOWN — In Kiln Creek, by a pond sits a beautiful shaded garden with bird feeders and a gravel path. Owned and lovingly maintained by Wild Birds Unlimited Yorktown (WBUY), this serene space has been created to share a bit of nature with the community.
“Off to the side of our shop, we have created this little wildlife sanctuary with a deck and some comfortable furniture for people to sit and watch. It is a lovely setting and the goal is to get people to connect with nature,” said co-owner Kristin Collins. “There is no expectation that someone needs to come into the store and buy anything. We just love seeing people enjoy the space.”
“Over the years we have expanded the space to create a nature trail and folks are invited to come out and take a stroll on the wooded path,” Collins continued, “We also use the area to promote the importance of native plants and help to support the environment, wildlife and songbirds. So, we created a ‘learning’ trail where we highlight the native trees and plants through QR codes and people can scan them and learn more.”
Browsing social media, Collins saw a post that inspired a garden project that would incorporate their customers, neighbors and those within the community.
“This post was a photo that had a sign that read ‘Roscoe the Rock Snake. Add a painted rock and see how long I get!’ and there were all these painted rocks lining a sidewalk. And, when I saw it, instantly, I thought we have to do this!” said Kristin.
Now, the WBUY pathway is starting to be lined with brightly colored rocks.
Anyone is welcome to stop by and chose a rock, provided by the retail store and either paint it at home or on the spot. These unique and fun pieces are art are then placed on the nature pathway.
Debi Vandromme stopped by to add her family’s painted rocks to the growing collection and said, “My mom and I are frequent shoppers at the Yorktown Wild Birds Unlimited. When we heard about the rock garden project, mom picked up 6 for us to paint during our small Fourth of July gathering! Much to our surprise, the husbands jumped right in with their creativity!”
Much of the landscaping work is done by WBUY’s other owner, Gregory Millslagle, who says he enjoys the work and loves being outside.
“Wild Birds Unlimited slogan is bringing people and nature together. And, this is why our business is successful. Sure we can sell you birdseed but, what we really sell is fun. Enormous fun … that’s what Kristin says. This place has the potential for enormous fun,” Millslagle smiles while overlooking the space, “I never considered the painted rocks but now, as an artist, I can see the potential. Maybe even adding a sculpture garden, or a cool rock man?”
Wild Birds Unlimited Yorktown just celebrated 20 years in business. Stop by to browse the store, to see the community garden or add to the rock line.