From left, Joann Wood, DAR Conservation chair; Ann Brown, recipient; and Jennifer Thomas, chapter regent
The Judge David Campbell Chapter of the NSDAR awarded the prestigious Conservation Award to Lookout Mountain resident Ann Brown for her many achievements and endeavors. This is no surprise to anyone who knows her.
Ann has initiated many campaigns to educate the public on the need to save our pollinators with the use of native plants, as well as given talks statewide to garden clubs and the TDOT on supporting our pollinators.
Ann Brown is a rock star. A Master Gardener extraordinaire, she is making big change in her corner of the woods, one pollinator at a time. A retired librarian, she moved to Lookout Mountain, Tn., several years ago and immediately set out creating a wildlife habitat in her manicured green lawn in their new house. Bit by bit, she took out the grass that required excessive water and fertilizers and replaced it with gorgeous native plants. With something in bloom nearly year-round, her yard is a true oasis for all manner of pollinators, valuable insects, birds and all manner of wildlife. The brick wall of her house is covered with lush pipevine, hosting a multitude of pipevine butterflies.
Following the tenets of Dr. Doug Tallamy, Ann has created a Homegrown National Park in her neighborhood. And it is magnificent, with bright yellow goldenrod (Solidago) towering over a variety of blue and purple asters. Solidago, often thought of as a common weed, supports 80 different species of butterflies! Who knew? Ann did! And asters support a good variety as well; both goldenrod and asters bloom in the fall when many blooms have faded, so they are super important. Ann makes sure all of her plants are “hard working natives,” and if they just so happen to be fairytale magical, fine. Bee balm, milkweed, coneflower, St. John’s wort … the list goes on and on, but her noted native garden is host to multiple tours by a variety of organizations.
Yes, Ann Brown is a wonderful steward of her little neck of the woods. But that’s not enough for her. Devoted to making as much difference as she can in the battle to regenerate diversity and ecosystem function in order to save our planet, literally, she is spreading the word. According to Dr. Doug Tallamy, we are at a critical point of losing so many species from local ecosystems that their ability to produce the oxygen, clean water, flood control, pollination, pest control and carbon storage, which make up the ecosystem services that sustain us, will become seriously compromised.
Ann regularly speaks about the alarming decline of pollinators and encourages gardeners to utilize plants native to the southeast area in landscaping in order to support and sustain bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. A member of the Master Gardeners of Hamilton County, Tennessee Valley Wild Ones, North American Butterfly Association and the Chattanooga Ornithological Society, she is responsible for the certification of both Lookout Mountain, Tn., and Lookout Mountain, Ga., as Bee City USA municipalities.
A member of the Lookout Mountain Beautiful Garden Club, she has led the groups efforts to plant multiple pollinator gardens in the community, creating a corridor of support for the “little things that run the world,” insects. With several gardens fairly close together, there is a veritable banquet of sustenance for these important creatures.
This trim little gal is a veritable dynamo, making a difference. Hands on, Ann helps
maintain pollinator gardens at Reflection Riding, Lookout Mountain Town Commons, Church of Good Shepherd on Lookout Mountain and John Wilson Park. Committed to healing our fragile planet one bloom at a time, Ann Brown is a rock star in every way.
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Ferris Robinson is the author of three children’s books, “The Queen Who Banished Bugs,” “The Queen Who Accidentally Banished Birds,” and “Call Me Arthropod” in her pollinator series “If Bugs Are Banished.” “Making Arrangements” is her first novel. “Dogs and Love - Stories of Fidelity” is a collection of true tales about man’s best friend. Her website is ferrisrobinson.com and you can download a free pollinator poster there. She is the editor of The Lookout Mountain Mirror and The Signal Mountain Mirror.