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How can we encourage native pollinator habitat in Seattle and beyond?

My Introduction Video!

 

Project Statement:

For the catalyst conference project, I decided to create my very own pollinator garden, designed with my specific location in mind. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so I tried to use plants that are suitable for our climate. When creating a pollinator garden, it is important to keep in mind that you should be using native species whenever possible because they will fit in best with your local ecosystem, as well as attract beneficial native pollinators. Also, pollinators are not just bees! They also include beetles, bats, hummingbirds, butterflies, and many others. It is important to keep in mind that you want to cater to a variety of local species, not just bees (as many of us tend to think about when we imagine pollinators). 

 

Why are pollinators so important? Well, watch this:

As you can tell from this video, bees and all other pollinators are SUPER valuable to our ecosystems and for us as humans! With this in mind, my next step was to design my very own pollinator garden so that I could do my part in helping to fight this huge problem.

 

Insights & Inspirations:

One of my biggest inspirations for this project was Swansons Nursery, a popular nursery here in Seattle.

They do a lot of community outreach, including providing a multitude of gardening resources to us Seattleites. Swansons even has its very own pollinator garden in front of their nursery! Seeing the success of their model was really inspiring for me.

Here are some photos of their pollinator garden being planted in 2018, for reference:

Swansons Nursery Website

(Swansons Pollinator Garden.)

Process:

For my project, I decided to first design my own garden and see how it works out before I expand my efforts. If it goes well, I hope to use this plan to create more pollinator gardens in public areas in my community, as well as sharing this information with & around my school (through our environmental club, educational posters/bulletins, etc. etc.)

When choosing which plants to select for my garden, one of the most helpful resources for me personally was my local county’s website. They provided a plethora of amazingly informative guides to native plants in our region. If anyone else is looking for native plant resources, I would recommend a similar approach!

https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/stewardship/nw-yard-and-garden/native-plant-resources-nw.aspx

An example of one of the helpful resources I found:

gardening in the pacific northwest plant guide

Dunn Lumber Website

(Gardening in the PNW: Plants That Attract Pollinators)

 

Here are some closeups of a few of the species that I decided to include in my garden:

As of now, I have had to resort to planting mostly herbs due to availability issues caused by COVID-19. As soon as possible, though, I am going to continue expanding upon this garden. In the future, I plan to add more flowers, grasses, and groundcover to this particular space. I will also be providing water & shelter for the pollinators.

Here is what my garden looks like now (this is just the beginning, I am super excited to see where this project takes me!):

A closeup of the pollinator section of my garden

I know that this website will be reaching a global audience, so I want to emphasize to all of you how easy it actually is to help your own local pollinator populations. The process does not have to be super complicated, there are SO many resources out there! A quick google search will yield many results that can help to inform and guide you in the right direction. 

Below is an infographic that I created which includes information that you can apply to your own community. For the ones I am going to create & distribute in Seattle and to my school, I am going to make them specific to our location. But for this conference, I wanted to include one of the infographics that contains more general information that could apply to anyone. 

 

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my project, it means so much to me! If you personally have any experience with pollinators or pollinator gardens (maybe you own bees, know a local garden or park that houses pollinator habitat, or you have been involved in a similar project), please let me know! I would love to hear about your experiences.

As always, feel free to let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions. I would love to hear your feedback regarding my project and what I can do to improve upon it. Again, thank you so much for your time!

Works Cited/Consulted

 

 

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COMMENTS: 9
  1. April 23, 2020 by Scott

    Lizzy this was an awesome project! This is totally something I would love to do in Atlanta and I think I’ll try it out next spring. I learned a ton about pollinators here and I hope as many people get to see this page as possible!

  2. April 24, 2020 by Krleen

    This project is amazing! I love the impact that you are trying to make in your community. As an avid bee advocate myself it makes me very happy to see other young people who are as concerned as I am. Your plans to share with the community after the social distancing efforts will surely make a lasting impact in our world.

  3. April 24, 2020 by Mila Tewell

    Lizzy, this is a great project and dear to my heart. I volunteer at the Sharon Audubon in CT https://sharon.audubon.org/visit/pollinator-garden and that experience has made me so much more aware of pollinators — I find myself looking more carefully in my garden all the time for bees, hummingbirds, butterflies and love that we are helping them survive and, I hope, thrive. Thanks for setting up your excellent infographic so that we can all download

  4. April 25, 2020 by Alejandra

    Hi Lizzy! I think it’s wonderful that you have started your own garden and hopefully that will keep growing so that more bees and friends can find safe places to live. My brother Adrian is the one with the “green thumb” in our family and he has started a garden of Mexican cacti when beautiful flowers bloom in all sorts of colors. It is a spectacle to see and they also attract several insects, like bees. Congrats!

  5. April 25, 2020 by Ava Allard

    Lizzy, seeing your project has really inspired me. I loved reading about the garden you’ve started!! I learned so much about bees and I can’t wait to hear more about your project and how it progress. I also thought the layout was really beautiful.

  6. April 25, 2020 by Shannon

    Lizzy, I am seriously impressed with your hard work and dedication to your bee garden! Thank you for making the world a better place. I hope you continue to do such fantastic work in the future.

  7. April 27, 2020 by kira

    THIS WAS AMAZING, SO IMPRESSIVE. INCREDIBLY WELL PUT TOGETHER

  8. April 27, 2020 by kira

    CHANGED THE WAY I WILL LOOK AT POLLINATORS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. A TRUE PEICE OF INFORMATIVE ART.

  9. April 27, 2020 by Inez

    Wow, Lizzy!! What an amazing and important project! I am so proud of all your hard work! You have left me feeling super inspired to something similar where I live! You are awesome, keep up the great work!

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