Holly Point Nature Park
Celebrate the history, beauty, and rich heritage of the Bay through our unique Park and Museum.
In 2009, we joined the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network connecting us with over 160 exceptional parks, wildlife refuges, museums, sailing ships, historic communities, trails and more. Gateways are the special places where you can experience the authentic Chesapeake. For a complete list of all the network locations, log on to www.baygateways.net.
We are also linked with the National Park Service as an official portal to the John Smith National Historic Water Trail.
Since 2010, we have been working to establish the Piankatank Historic Waterway Trail. The goal is to not only encourage appreciation and care for our historic river, but to chronicle the history and explore the impact on our region today.
For The Nature Lover…
The simple garden areas at Holly Point Park are the backdrop to the Museums many popular events. But you don’t have to wait for an event; come enjoy exploring on your own. The turkey, deer, groundhogs, osprey, eagles, egrets, and many more wildlife friends co-exist peacefully on the 30 plus acres.
Begin the walking tour with a look at our very poplar Children’s Garden, growing this summer with vegetables as part of the “edible landscape” theme. We’ll be developing the ABC’s of Gardening to foster and encourage an early appreciation for growing not only plants that look nice, but plants that taste good. We also celebrate the addition of Marty’s Greenhouse as a loving remembrance of founding member and Gardenerd, Marty Hawksworth. Her love of nature, gardening and the community makes the Children’s garden the perfect place for the greenhouse. Walking back to the water’s edge brings you to the Living Shoreline and Buffer Zone Garden. The shoreline restoration project, with the help of VCE Middlesex Master Gardeners, teaches how to control shoreline erosion and how establishing marsh vegetation can provide long term shoreline stabilization at a fraction of the cost of the conventional structures, such as bulkheads and rock revetments. The project also explores the use of native plants on the uplands buffer zone. Natives are plants that are growing naturally in an area long before humans introduced other plants. Once established, natives will be low maintenance and non-invasive. Native grasses, shrubs and vegetative cover are key elements of a healthy shoreline. They serve to dissipate wave energy, bind soil with their roots, and reduce run off into the Bay, all improving water quality, reducing erosion control costs, and encouraging marine habitat.
Following Mill Creek past the Boat Shop, the next area is the Woodland Garden. The unexpected wildlife sculptures guide you down a trail outlined with encore azaleas, blooming throughout spring, summer and fall. The surprise the Woodland Garden holds will certainly make you take a moment and enjoy the serenity of the woods. Benches donated by patrons dot the landscape for such peaceful outings.
As you wonder the path, you might exit through the Camellia Garden. Camellias bring a beauty to this winter garden, and hydrangeas, hostas, ice plants and annuals add seasonal color and textures.
Or you might exit to the front field with a path that leads to “Bubba”, the fish-shaped wildflower meadow. This garden area is evolving with more trees, grasses and butterfly bushes for year round interest. We have added a lovely gazebo for group gatherings or for a sheltered area in which to enjoy the always popular explosion of wildflowers from spring through fall.
Heading back to the Museum, you’ll pass the Miss Pette surrounded by the Willis Wilson Garden. Planted in 2007 as a part of the America’s Anniversary garden, this area commemorated a wonderful native soul who loved Deltaville and boatbuilding, Willis Wilson. Planted in red, white and blue, the garden salutes love of county and community. One native rose bush was planted to remember the lone “flowering’ plant found at Willis’ marina. Amidst the boat debris, the lone rose was a beacon of color and beauty to remind us all of the beauty of man’s nature.
We salute the Gardenerds, for it is their hands that have guided the gardens throughout the years. If you’d like to join the fun and share your love of gardening, come by Wednesdays from 9-12 (weather permitting).