Wildlife Garden

Wellfleet Bay Nature Center garden © Laura Fenn
© Laura Fenn

The area in front of the nature center has been developed as a garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Wildflowers, herbs, annuals and perennials have been chosen for their colors, nectars, and nutrients. Certain plants provide shelter for the night, from wind or rain.

Flat rocks between the pools are good for sun-basking butterflies. Damp areas are favorite hangouts for "mud puddling clubs," groups of young males looking for mates. Herbicides and pesticides are not used, and caterpillars that emerge are welcome to "browse." Spiders and other predators, including birds and toads, should keep larvae numbers in check- a natural balancing act.

Certain plants will be added and others replaced each year. Benches are provided for butterfly-watching, but visitors are asked not to walk into the garden itself. More information on butterfly gardening is available in magazines and books, some of which can be found in the Gift Shop.

Staff naturalists keep an official count of butterfly species visiting the sanctuary, and recent sightings are posted.

Get Involved

The garden is planted and maintained by volunteers who are assisted by staff. Want to help? You can volunteer or make a donation.