Nearly three quarters of the flowering plants on earth rely on pollinators in order to reproduce. Much of humankind’s food, and even greater proportions of food for wildlife. depend on them. Pollinators are being threatened by continued expansion of human development into the natural spaces they need. Pesticide use on lawns, in gardens, and in agriculture is destroying their habitat and contributing to their collapse. Global climate change has shown to disrupt natural cycles including the synchronization between bloom time and bee emergence.
Many Upper Valley residents are becoming aware of the risks associated with pollinator collapse and are responding by planting organic native perrennial flowers, shrubs, and trees to provide food and habitat for pollinators and other creatures, as well as enhanced environment for humans.
There is a plan for a pollinator corridor along the MRG. With funding from the Robert F. Church Charitable Trust, we have begun to create what will be a string of pollinator gardens, fruit trees, and berry bushes for bees, butterflies, birds, and even hungry humans.
Two gardens are already well-underway:
*A pollinator garden in the “Pocket Park” adjacent to Mascoma Falls and to the tunnel, behind Goss-Logan Insurance.
* A small pollinator meadow on the Goss-Logan hillside.
* Plans and plantings for the MRG access at the intersection of Mascoma/Mechanic/High streets are in process. Milkweed, Queen Anne’s Lace and Goldenrod are already in place!
Michael Lunter and Sarah Riley planting Milkweed, Liatris, Fleabane, Coneflowers, New England Asters, Yarrow, and Black-eyed Susans,
* Red Osier Dogwoods will be planted by the bench that honors Leo McKenna (near the APD/MRG parking lot)
* A pollinator garden is being planted next to the new, easy-access parking lot west of the underpass by APD Hospital. (It will be a while until it is truly photo-worthy but it is a beginning.)
* Upper Valley Apple Corps has helped scout out places for fruit trees and berry bushes along the western end of the MRG with hopes to begin planting this Fall. (Read more on this.)
Resources for planting for pollinators: