Continous work and education at Pollinator Gardens.

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.

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GAPP at the X Mesoamerican Conference on Native Bees

The tenth Mesoamerican Conference on Native Bees was held at the Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala. The Conference was organized by the University of San Carlos of Guatemala (USAC) and the Center for Conservation Studies (CECON) which is a scientific research institute of USAC.

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Inaugural speech by the Conference Principal Coordinator Dr. Eunice Enríquez

 

The conference was divided into two parts: three days of classes and two days of lectures, poster exhibit, and vendors. I attended the class ‘Bee genetics’ instructed by Michelle Duennes (University of California Riverside) and Oscar Martinez (ECOSUR).

The Conference had so many exciting lectures, but sadly like in any other conference, sadly I couldn´t materialize myself into several Melinas through time and space at the same time! Or did I…

However, I will highlight and share with you the most critical information and data that can be compared with native bee fauna we have in Atlanta. Furthermore, I will tell you how GAPP was received at the Conference!

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Bee Genetics class! With participants from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Chile, and the US.

At this point in the game against time trying to help animal and plant species to survive anthropogenic changes to the environment, we know that fauna studies are vital to understanding relationships and interactions between species and their distribution patterns. Most plant and animal species are population indicators on ecosystems health, especially insects. But we also know that at some point we have to stop taking and start conserving by protecting species.

This particular Conference has a unique characteristic that not many scientific oriented conferences have; it encourages and has a specific space for community projects, citizen science and rural and local knowledge on the management of the stingless bee. Stingless bees or commonly known as Meliponinos are native social bee species from southern Mexico, Central America and South America, Southeast Asia, Africa and Australia. Notably, in the Mesoamerican region (a cultural area that goes from central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Northern Costa Rica), management of meliponinos has a robust prehispanic heritage and importance. It has roots in the prehispanic cultures that thrived before the Spanish conquest. One of those Civilizations were the Mayan, who had an intrinsic and spiritual connection to the management of this bee species.

 

Terry Griswold, the first lecturer, opened the Conference talking about the “idea” that bee species increases if you go to the tropics, saying its a myth! And it has been proven over the years that bee richness and endemism are more prolific in the cold climate deserts of the world. North America has approximately 5,100 native bee species, with 176 genera, evenly divided among 6 families. Several other lecturers mentioned the importance of museum collections that should be open to the public, and how researchers have an obligation of reviewing these collections before starting a new research project.

Worldwide, several solitary bee species have been managed for crop pollination. Currently, most of this species have not had any substantial issues like Apis mellifera with CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). But, the problems have been that some of these solitary bee species are introduced to other countries for greenhouse pollination and end up scaping the greenhouse and becoming naturalized; but it is not known if they can become a pest.  One example of this is the introduction of Bombus impatiens. This bumblebee species is native to the US and very common in Georgia. it was introduced to Mexico for tomato pollination, and it escaped. Currently, it can be found naturalized in some areas, and it can become a problem, transmitting pathogens and competing for floral resources with native bee species.

Bee species Characteristics Pollinating Crops
Nomia melanderi Alkali bee, solitary native bee alfalfa
Megachile rotundata Leafcutter Solitary bee from Eurasia Alfalfa and greenhouse crop pollination like tomatoes
Osmia lignaria Native from North America Orchard pollination
Osmia cornuta Introduce from Europe Apple, pear orchards
Osmia bicornis Red mason bee Apple orchard
Osmia cornifrons Horned-face bee, a native of Northern Asia, diurnal species. Fruit crops
Xylocopa mordax Native of Dominican Republic tomatoes
Xylocopa frontalis Native of Brasil Pecan and maracuya
Trigona biroii Native of Philipines mango
Tetragonula carbonaria Sugarbag bee, Native of Australia macadamia

The State of Veracruz in Mexico is the third state with the highest floristic richness in the Mountain Mesophyll Forest (oak-pine and acahual humid forest). This habitat has approximately 65 hectares (160.6 acres) left in the state. A native bee survey was conducted in two zones of this habitat. 743 specimens were collected with 71 species identified into 5 families. Several sampling techniques were used. So, this blew my mind! Let me tell you why. In 2011 one of the 16 units that encompasses the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. 937 specimens were collected and 79 species identified, with 8 new State records, using only one sampling technique. Can you see what I see?!!! The Cochran Shoals unit is surrounded by metro Atlanta, and we know this city is one of the fastest growing cities in the US. Nevertheless, we have an incredible native bee fauna richness that needs to be protected.

Another project that was really interesting was done at the José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden in Bogotá, Colombia. They did a bee inventory of the garden and found 98 native bee species. This Botanical Garden serves as a recreation and research center, especially for Andean and Páramo ecosystems. This is really interesting because it gives us an opportunity to make a future comparison with the Atlanta Botanical Garden, where we will be doing a survey this Spring!

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Last but not least, GAPP was received very enthusiastically by the people who attended the lecture. At the end of the Conference, there was a type of roundtable discussion with three researchers at the table and all attendees listening and ready to participate. Two people mentioned we needed to expand our horizons and follow the lead of the GAPP lecture! Chills!

It was discussed that a platform like GAPP is a good idea to reach and educate about Meliponinos management and culture, but also for the rest of the native bee species. Furthermore, as the Mesoamerican Conference, we needed to change the name to something more representative because we had participants from all over the world. We will be keeping in touch with our counterparts in Guatemala and making the world a better and safer place for bees and all pollinators.

 

 

 

 

 

STEM Events at Pollinator Gardens

This year has had so many exciting projects and one of them ‘Pollinators in Parks’ – in collaboration with Park Pride and supported by the Home Depot Foundation, has been educational and environmentally conscious. As you might remember, 5 pollinator gardens where built in five different community gardens across Atlanta. Two of the five pollinator gardens where chosen to host an educational event for two different school grades and two different schools which were neighbors of the gardens.

On October 6, our first STEM Event took place at Grove Park Community Garden. Harry Clements, the garden coordinator, assisted with a tour of the community garden. Park Pride Visioning Team (Andrew White, Teri Nye and Betty Hanacek) organized an interactive game about pollen and pollination for the kids. The Atlanta Botanical Garden Conservation team (Chelsea Thomas, Emily Coffey and I) organized three different activities related to Pollinators, community gardens, and Habitats of Georgia. The Habitats of Georgia activity was aimed at the importance of ecosystem interaction through amphibians and reptiles of GA.

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Chelsea Thomas ABG Amphibian Program Coordinator, teaching kids about the importance of these animal species.

The West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA) contributed with an interactive program on the vital importance of water. Grove Park is adjacent to the Proctor Creek. Darryl Haddock of WAWA supervised this activity as well as the completion of this first STEM Event.

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Darryl Haddock WAWA teaching kids about the importance of water in the City.

We had around 107 students of third grade from the Woodson Park Academy. Several teachers chaperoned their students while they were divided into groups to participate in each activity.

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Teri Nye-Park Pride explaining rules for pollinator game to kids!

On November 17, our second STEM event took place at Gilliam Park Community Garden. Debra Brook and Lee Watts from Gilliam Community Garden assisted with this event by teaching the students about Gilliam’s Rain Water Catchment System and their composting system area.

Park Pride and volunteers from the Atlanta Botanical Garden helped with the planting activity. Kids planted around 200 winter greens! These included collards, mustard green, cauliflower, green and red cabbage, mizuna, kohlrabi and lettuces, romaine green and red, green leaf and butterhead. Our own Carrie Radcliffe taught them about medicinal herbs of GA. Chelsea Thomas supported our second event, this time bringing only one friend, ‘a Salamander’, due to cold weather that day.

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After a catch and release activity with entomological nets, students had the opportunity to see some pinned specimens, like native solitary bees, flies, wasps, and beetles.

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We had around 100 9th grade students from Martin Luther King Jr Middle and several teachers as chaperones. We have some insightful students who were asking hard questions to our educators!

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Lee Watts teaching about composting and its importance at small scale

Both events were successful and action-packed!

‘Pollinators in Parks’ as a project is coming to an end, but the goals that were set exceeded our expectations. As we all know, everything that starts has to end but is all about transformation and progress. The next stage of this project will be surveying all five pollinator gardens and plus Linsday Street Park and Vine City Park for native bee communities. I can’t wait to tell you about what lives in our City Parks!

 

 

Georgia Power for Pollinators

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Deborah Harris and Atlanta Botanical Garden Pollinator Restoration Coordinator Melina Lozano Durán initiated a partnership last summer with Georgia Power ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist Kym Stephens and Wildlife Biologist Jim Ozier to create a pollinator habitat on a power line right-of-way.  Georgia Power proposed a project at Morgan Falls Park.  The planting site is not open to the public. Nevertheless, the habitat is likely to attract many bees and butterflies which may be seen by people using the park.  If this site is successful, we propose to expand the project to other areas.

The area is located between the Morgan Falls Overlook Park and the Morgan Falls River Park/ Dog Park, where the most extensive and oldest hydroelectric project in Georgia was built (100 Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs, GA).  The right-of-way site is relatively level at the top where the planting took place and then slopes down to the river.  The level planting site is well-drained and has clay soil.  Georgia Power mows the area every three years, and chemical control is applied about a year after mowing to suppress invasives like kudzu.

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Vegetation in the area includes Johnson grass and other invasives.  Some other plants noted in the area include Big bluestem, common lespedeza, wild aster, Queen Ann’s lace, wild mint, hydrangea, sorrel, wild onion, ragweed, horseweed, and clover. Several of these plants are already foraging sources for many insect pollinators, even when some can be considered invasives, and are controlled with herbicide on right-of-ways. 

 

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Plant list was acquired from Chattahoochee Nature Center

 

This project started at the end of June, with several meetings onsite through the next months. The site was prep October 17 by Tri Scapes, and on November 3 the following group met on site to plant!  Melina Lozano Durán (ABG), Chris Barrow (Volunteer), Kym Stephens (GA Power), Terry Wright (Tri Scapes), Deborah Harris (U.S. FWS), Henning Von Schmeling (CNC), and Brooke Vacovsky (Blue Heron Nature Preserve). 

Seed mix will be incorporated later this month. 

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Clean up before planting

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Spacing plants and planting

According to Kym Stephens plants are looking right, we have had some rainy days, and luckily winter will be cold enough so they can survive. Tri Scapes will be spraying herbicide on the sides of the plantings to ensure invasives will not drown our newly pollinator suitable planted species.

 

Butterfly State record count at Panola Mountain State Park

The Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Davidson-Arabia Mountain, Panola Mountain Butterfly Count through North American Butterfly Association- NABA took place August 10, 2017. These three areas are part of the Region 16 – South Atlantic that encompasses Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

The Panola Mountain State Park team had a party of four which included Dave Hadeen, Meredith Mays, Susan Meyers, and Phil Delestrez. The party started counting butterfly sightings at 9:30 am on a five-mile stretch area,  with a temperature of 78 degrees to 94 degrees Fahrenheit (25.5 to 36. 6 Celsius) from 9:30 am to 5:32 pm, wind increase of 1 mph SSW to 6 mph. Keeping track of weather data is essential because insects pollinators, like butterflies, can only forage in certain weather conditions.

This butterfly count breaks the previous State records of 64 species in 2010 and 66 species set at the Piedmont area the same year. According to Harry LeGrand and  Fr. Frances Michael, “the numbers and species had been low leading up to the count,” so this was a pleasant surprise. This Summer has been unusually rainy, with continuous days of forecast and thunderstorms. Nevertheless, the areas in the count are dedicated to protect, understand, and improve a variety of habitat types.

This small survey granted 69 butterfly species and just Panola Mt State Park had 47 in the total count, you can see all information here DATA. Also, you can read the Butterfly count. 

According to the report, only the Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) was a new record for the count; this species’ preferred habitat is rocky and sandy exposed hillsides near streams or gullies in the north; and pine flatwoods, towns, and citrus groves in the South. The Dion Skipper (Euphyes dion) and Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole) were present at the Park, and these two species are pretty rare for this area of Georgia.

From the count at the Monastery area, two species were observed, which are really rare to find and having them as part of this count was a special treat, the Bell’s roadside-skipper (Amblyscirtes belli) and lace-winged roadside skipper (Amblyscirtes nysa).

In the Davison-Arabia Moutain area, another very rare butterfly was observed, the Cofaqui Giant Skipper (Megathymus cofaqui), this butterfly species was even very uncommon to see in the early 19th Century, and were confused with moths.

According to Mike Chapman, “the Piedmont and the Monastery counts were two of the leaders in the Southeastern U. S” for this year, 2017. This is great news for the Region, and we hope the butterfly counts keep going up. Nevertheless, it’s important to mention that most of the rare butterfly sightings are species which are threatened in their ranges and must be conserved if found.

 

Bee City Atlanta & GAPP in the news

Recently in the pollinator world in Atlanta, we have two news stories to share with you.

The Major’s Office of Resilience Urban Agriculture Director Mario Cambardella and his team organized a total of seven community meetings with 60+ community members and other Institutions. These included the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Zoo Atlanta, Captain Planet Foundation, the Atlanta Community Foodbank, The Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association, to discuss a plan to make Atlanta an affiliate for the Bee City USA.

Bee City USA is an initiative that started in Asheville, NC and became a national program in June 2013. Bee City ”encourages city leaders to celebrate and raise awareness of the contribution bees and other pollinators make to our world” it also helps municipalities to coordinate educational efforts by networking and sharing information with the community.

At each meeting, attendees were organized into subcommittees to discussed which points will be important to highlight the document to present to City Council.

Benefits for the Bee Atlanta Resolution can be read at Action Items Bee City Atlanta and the action plan here Bee City Atlanta Resolution. You can also visit the Facebook page Bee City Atlanta for updates.

The next good news is the USDA-Forest Service site recently posted a short article about GAPP in their Celebrating Wildflowers news. Once you are there scroll down to the article title Atlanta Residents welcome pollinators to their urban gardens and click on the read more about GAPP, or you can click here GAPP in the news.

National Native Bee Monitoring plan

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) organized a Listening Session to discuss a plan to monitor native bees in the US.  The meeting was held in Washington DC in the USDA South Building Café Conference Center and broadcasted via Webinar.
On June 28, from 8 to 11 am, several Universities, beekeeper associations and other environmental agencies from all over the country participated in this session, but attendance was low and finished earlier than what was expected.
Here is just a list of key points that were mentioned and are important to consider to plan for a National Monitoring Strategy for native bees.
  • Collection and use of data have a better model. USDA guidelines
  • USDA to propose guidelines for collection and use of data
  • Data collection needs to be robust,  continuous, and id all specimens to species
  • Bee-plant interaction needs to be understood better
  • 100 radius Honey Bees can starve native bees if there are not enough resources
  • Future of food production
  • Native plant community is essential
  • Botanical data need to be available
  • Identify prolific bees by region
  • Pesticide regulation is failing, keeping poisonous products in the market
  • Understand bee cycles better to use in agricultural crops
  • Increase taxonomic expertise
  • There is more knowledge on Bombus species than any other natives
  • Understanding diseases,  fungus, pests on native bees
  • Understanding invasive non-native bee species
  • Improve conservation efforts once data is available
  • Abundance, identity, and species richness
  • Will standardized sampling help with better data?
  • Climate change is a significant factor in decline of native bees in cities
  • Increasing Honey bee colonies in Cities can push out native bees species we do not know about yet.
According to NIFA, the frequently reported factors responsible for pollinator insect decline (in this case native bees) include: invasive pest, parasites, and diseases increased exposure to pesticides, pollutants or toxins; nutritional deficits, extreme weather events; agricultural intensification and habitat loss; reduced genetic diversity, and changes in pollinator or crop management practices.
 Please send your comments to andrew.p.clark@nifa.usda.gov before July 7, and be alert on any news on this topic at NIFA.

Monarch Citizen Science Training

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, the Atlanta Botanical Garden Pollinator Garden Coordinator, with funding from US-FWS Biologist Deborah Harris, organized all pollinator gardens to participate in a Monarch Citizen Science Training. The workshop was held at the Urban Conservation Training Institute, part of the Greening Youth Foundation, thanks to Site Manager Whitney C. Jaye who hosted this event.

Susan Meyers is Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist and the Monarchs Across Georgia Pollinator Habitat Restoration Grant Administrator. Susan is also a trainer for the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, one of several Monarch Citizen Science programs. We learned Danaus plexippus, the monarch butterfly, has been going through an all time low in their populations in Mexico, USA, and Canada. Scientific research points out several factors for this decline, like loss of habitat in Mexico and Canada, loss of native milkweed in the USA, pesticide poisoning, and diseases.

Grove Park Community Garden, Welch Street Community Garden, Four Corners Community Garden, Linsday Street Park, Vine City Park and Blue Heron Community Garden members participated in this training. They received Monarch Watch Waystations certificates thanks to our project with Park Pride in installing pollinator gardens in five of those community parks. Lindsay Street Park and Vine City Park have pollinator gardens that were established in 2015-2016, and ABG continues to work with them.

The Monarch Joint Venture of the University of Minnesota Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, “is a partnership of federal, state agencies and non-governmental organizations and academic programs that are working together to protect the monarch migration across the lower 48 United States” link to the site. They have several informational sheets like Milkweed Infomation Sheet, Monarch Conservation: How to get involved, Gardening for Monarchs, MJV fact sheet and much more that you can download here Resources.Here are some of the Citizen Science projects that were discussed and you can choose one or all to participate!

Here are some of the Citizen Science projects that were discussed and you can choose one or all in which to participate!

Journey North is a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change, and one of their many species that citizen scientist help track of are monarchs.  You can visit the Monarch Butterfly track, and report sightings. If you would like to know more about other species they are tracking you can go here:  Track Spring’s Journey North.

Monarch Watch is a Migration and tagging data collection program based at the Univesity of Kansas “that engages citizens scientist in large-scale research programs”.  The goal of this program is to estimate the size of the fall migratory population, mortality during migration and size of the overwintering population.

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Susan Meyers explaining how to tag a Monarch butterfly

 

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Whitney C.Jaye UCTI Site manager and Chris, Grove Community Garden member tagging another monarch

Project Monarch Health- Monarch parasites OE, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, is a parasite, and single cell organism that infects monarch and queen butterflies. It was first discovered in Florida in the 1960s.  It has been found in all monarch populations around the world. No other hosts have been identified. Testing for this parasite involves obtaining a sample from the abdomen of the adult butterfly.

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Jalani Traxler, Welch Street Park garden member, grabbing a butterfly to collect a sample for OE

 

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Gently collecting superficial sample of abdomen to look for OE

Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP), involves the observation of the Monarch larva’s (or caterpillar’s) head capsule and tentacle length to determine its larval instar stage as well as being able to identify the egg, pupa, and adult. The Monarch experiences five instar stages between an egg and pupa. To learn more about the project ad report your findings, visit: https://app.mlmp.org/monitoring/app/Login.aspx.

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After the training ended we planted some plants (see table below) at the Urban Conservation Training Institute, which are good nectar and pollen sources for pollinators and a Georgia native milkweed which are the only plants a monarch larva will eat.

Nectar and Nest Sources plants for Monarch Butterfly
2 Passiflora incarnata Passionvine
2 Echinacea tennessensis Tennessee coneflower
3 Agastache foeniculum Anise hyssop
3 Glandularia canadensis Verbena
4 Pycnanthemum pilosum American mountain mint
2 Symphyotrichum novae angliae New England Aster
3 Eutrochium fistulosum Joe-pye weed
3 Coreopsis lanceolata Tickseed
1 Monarda fistulosa Beebalm
2 Asclepias tuberosa Milkweed

This Citizen Science training was a complete success, so much so that we will be planning to have one at the Atlanta Botanical Garden – stay tuned.

Pollinator Conservation through grassland restoration at Panola Mt

 

The Conservation and Research Department at the Atlanta Botanical Garden has been working with partners and other organizations for more than 20 years, in restoring habitats, conducting research on endangered plant species, and ways to reproduce and establish them into their natural habitat.

Panola Mountain State Park is just one of many partners who has benefited from our Conservation efforts through the years.

On April 29, in coordination with Panola Mountain State Park Manager Wayne R. Fuller, DNR-GA Northern Resource Manager Phil Delestrez, US-Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist Deborah Harris (who provided the funding), and Atlanta Botanical Garden Pollinator Garden Coordinator Melina Lozano Durán, we planted around 200 plants, all of them pollinator friendly. Luckily for us, we had the fantastic help from Troop 106 of the Cub Scouts Pack 21.

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Phil Delestrez giving a brief explanation of how planting should be done. He positioned all plants by groups after plants were delivered to the park

 

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Troop 106 of the Cub Scouts Pack 21, learning through planting on a restored area for pollinator insects!

 

30 Symphyotrichum novae angliae – New England Aster
20 Muhlenbergia capillaris – pink muhlygrass
5 Asclepias verticillata – whorled milkweed
13 Aquilegia canadensis – Eastern red columbine
50 Rudbekia fulgida – orange coneflower
57 Asclepias tuberosa – butterfly weed
3 Baptisia alba – false indigo
5 Eutrochium fistulosum – Joe-pyeweed
6 Monarda punctata – spotted beebalm
6 Vernonia noveborascensis – ironweed
6 Yucca filamentosa – Adam’s needle
6 Coreopsis grandiflora – large-flowered tickseed

This short plant list will benefit several insect pollinator species like bees, flies, and butterflies. It will equally help birds like hummingbirds which are pollinators and eat insects as part of their diets.

The Power Flight is a grassland restoration area that came to be part of Panola Mountain State Park in 2001 through a River Care 2000 grant. It had a total acreage of 180 acres and used to be a fescue pasture land.  In 2001 Elaine Nash from the Native Plant Society and Phil started restoring the hill top. Between 2005-2006 Nathan Klaus from NRCS (Non-Game Conservation Section) took over the project and started eliminating exotic plants and restoring grass through the use of prescribed fire to maintain the ecology of the area.

This area is used for bird-watching, butterfly walks, and dragonfly programs, “It is also a unique outdoor classroom to discuss native grassland and meadows” Phil Delestrez commented.

Planting was done in about a 5-acre area. We will be monitoring the plants, especially Asclepias tuberosa, which is a plant species of importance for the Monarch butterfly.

 

New Pollinator Gardens in Metro Atlanta!

Park Pride and the Atlanta Botanical Garden, thanks to the Building Community Network initiative by the Home Depot Foundation, installed five pollinator gardens at five well-established community gardens with active community involvement and support. Furthermore, thanks to this grant we were able to hire Urban GreenScapes a Greening Youth Foundation interns new business enterprise.

Grove Park Community Garden and Gilliam Park Community Garden were installed April 9, in February we hosted a Pollinator Garden design workshop, then PP presented the garden designs to the City of Atlanta for approval.

We present a series of photographies so you can see each garden’s transformation!

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Grove Park Community Garden first visit, you can see at the distance where the tiny figure of Betty Hanacek  is located, behind her was the future home of the pollinator garden

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Urban Greenscapes at Grove Park Community Garden from Left to right  Malik, Rashaad Tillery (Coordinator), Haneef & Michael

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Plants arranged according to Garden design before planting

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Grove Park Community gardeners, volunteers, and Park Pride Visioning Team

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Butterfly weed, narrow leave sunflower, Indian blanket, slender beardtongue, blue-eyed grass, Georgia aster, rough goldenrod, etc. Are just some of the native plants that will be supporting bees, butterflies, birds and other insects at Grove Park Community Garden

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Gilliam Park Community Garden, first visit

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Pollinator Garden installation finished at Gilliam Park Community Garden! Poke milkweed, false indigo, Indian blanket, coral honeysuckle, texas sage, narrow-leaved sunflower are just some of the pollinator plants that will be supporting pollinator at this area.

Park Pride Visioning Team and Atlanta Botanical Garden Pollinator Garden Coordinator, divided and conquered on both dates, so the gardens could be planted simultaneously. Thanks to each garden community support and volunteers we evaded the heat and had the plants in the ground in record time!

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Blue Heron Community Garden designated area for Pollinator Garden and it’s transformation

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Park Pride Visioning Team and Four Corners Coordinator Chris Lemons standing where the future pollinator garden would be build

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Four Corners Pollinator Garden honoring the garden’s name

Each garden passed for the same process, a scouting visit, plan designs with the gardeners, once designs were approved we organized the working plans with Urban Greenscapes (prepping sites, tilling soil, edging on three gardens and fencing and edging at Four Corners, pick up and plant delivery, and Summer maintenance)

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Welch Street Community Garden, seeing from the Street before Pollinator Garden was installed

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Planting day, several volunteers and visitors after garden was finished

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Welch Street Community Garden, above photo shows one side of the Pollinator garden, this photograph shows the other part. Pollinator Garden was divided into two areas, facing the entrance.

We would be updating you about the five Pollinator Gardens, and showing photographs of the blooming succession, each garden has plants that would bloom on the different seasons to help all pollinators through the year. Stay tuned!