Much of humankind’s food, and even greater proportions of food for wildlife. depend on pollinators, pollinators that 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.
Many people are becoming aware of the risks associated with pollinator collapse and are responding by planting organic native flowers, shrubs, and trees to provide food and habitat for pollinators and other creatures, as well as enhanced environment for humans.
We have begun a pollinator corridor along the MRG. With funding from the Robert F. Church Charitable Trust, we are planting a string of pesticide-free pollinator gardens, fruit trees, and berry bushes for bees, butterflies, birds, and even hungry humans.
Six pollinator plantings are already well-underway:
* Pollinator garden in the “Pocket Park” adjacent to Mascoma Falls and to the tunnel, behind Goss-Logan Insurance.
* Small pollinator “meadow” on the Goss-Logan hillside
* Pollinator garden at the MRG access at the intersection of Mascoma/Mechanic/High streets (Common milkweed, Queen Anne’s lace, clover, and goldenrod were already in place.)
Common and butterfly milkweed, liatris, fleabane, coneflowers, New England and Wood’s Pink asters, yarrow, bee balm, zinnias, lilies, Russian sage, Baptisia, lupine, valerian, violets, borage, Queen Anne’s lace, goldenrod, rudbeckia
Silver Spotted Skipper butterfly on clover
Bee foraging on lupine
Monarch on Milkweed
Monarch caterpillar on milkweed – note how much leaf has been eaten!
* Pollinator garden next to the parking lot west of the underpass by APD Hospital.
(On Saturday September 21, 2019, more than 40 Upper Valley Apple Corps volunteers and friends of Mascoma River Greenway planted 2 organic Haralson apple trees and two organic elderberry shrubs in this parking lot area.)
- On the western end of the MRG, in the moist area at the base of the Price Chopper access: dogwoods, aronia, button bush and high-bush cranberry.
- Three organic high-bush blueberries and an organic Golden Russet apple tree near the umbrella sculpture.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
Resources for planting for pollinators
Organic flower seeds are available at many places where seeds are sold; pesticide-free plants are, unfortunately, not so easily available. Local Sources of pesticide-free perennial and annual flowers:
Mill Gardens, Orford, NH (Need to ask which plants are free of pesticides.)
VT List for Planting for Pollinators (Scroll down for chart)