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  • Writer's picturePollinator Stewardship Council

Pollinator Gardens

Summer is in full swing and pollinator gardens are the topic of the season!  Although the primary purpose of pollinator gardens is to provide food for native and managed pollinators through increased access to nectar and pollen-rich flowers, this type of garden offers many other benefits.  They promote ecological health by providing habitat and increasing biodiversity, essential for our food web. Pollinator gardens are a strategy for a resilient climate as plants are a method for sequestering carbon, particularly deep-rooted flowering perennial plants. They also help with stormwater management, heat absorption, and increase soil health. Pollinator gardens designed with a higher number of native plant species are of special assistance to native pollinators, who have evolved to rely on primarily on local flowers.  

Pollinator garden projects are happening all over the country, with wide variations in scale and scope.  Many organizations (like PSC!) offer free seeds for individual pollinator garden projects. In Minnesota, residents may apply for funding of up to $350 to create pollinator habitats in their yards through a program called Lawns to Legumes.  In Texas, a rotary club is working to install a large-scale pollinator garden at a local high school.  The Brentwood Library in Tennessee will host a ribbon-cutting event later this month when they open their new pollinator garden which "is designed to host plants that bloom from early spring through fall, including phlox, dianthus, butterfly weed, bee balm, echinacea, tickseed, catmint, aster and more." 

Some farmers are moving tracts of land into conservation easements and installing pollinator gardens, Kent Montgomery, owner of a new eight-acre project in Minnesota states "The conversion to pollinator habitat preserved the original field boundaries which were farmed by my great-grandfather and grandfather, while providing an important resource to pollinator species, such as monarch butterflies and honeybees."  Pollinator garden projects are on the rise due to increased awareness of catastrophic losses of native and managed pollinators due to conditions like loss of habitat and use of dangerous chemicals such as neonicotinoids. 

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