Even though ‘Pollinators in Parks’ has come to an end, our commitment to protect and conserve pollinators and their habitats in the city continues. The five pollinator gardens are now in the community hands to make them thrive. We will be in constant communication with each community garden to monitor their progress throughout the year.
In the meantime, we have done some work at Lindsay Street Park and Blue Heron and we want to tell you all about it!
Park Pride Volunteer Manager John Ahern, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Ed Castro Landscaping and Urban Greenscapes came together to have a work day at Linsday Street Park. We coordinated with the ‘Friends of Linsday Street’ to have the community involved and to teach them to differentiate weeds from natives in the bioswale, rain garden, and pollinator garden.
Another great work day happened two weeks after: an educational morning with kids from Peace Preparatory Academy, located in northwest Atlanta. Peace prep is a small elementary school that uses Expeditionary learning a model that engages students “in intensive workshop based instruction for reading, writing, and math, and field experiences for science and social studies”.
The kids from peace prep learned about how the rain garden and pollinator garden connect with providing habitat for natives bees and other insect pollinators. We did a catch and release exercise, showed them how to use an entomological net and how to get the insects into little plastic vials. After my ‘awesome one day pupils’ caught a carpenter bee and a hornet! They observe differences between the two specimens and got a lot of questions!
Blue Heron Nature Preserve and Community Garden suffered two flooding events in 2017, most of the pollinator suitable plants did not make it, so we had to find other plants that were a bit stronger in case of another flood. On April 21st, Park Pride, Blue Heron volunteers and myself (as always representing ABG), met at the garden to plant the species below.
Amsonia tabernaemontana, Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata, Iris brevicaulis, Chelone glabra, Elymus riparius, Monarda punctata, Liatris spicata, Zizia aurea
We were able to knock these out in a couple hours including spreading some mulch. Hopefully, these species will last if another flood happens!
It is very important that we search and identify institutions and organizations that are doing work related to pollinator habitat conservation and protection so the conservation work can be streigthen and repetition avoided, especially when certain insect pollinators are endangered and sampling should be minimized.