Bringing Nature to You: Pollinators

Simple changes in our gardens can have big impacts on the future of our pollinators!

Did you know that pollinators—like bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinating insects and wildlife—are not only essential to our environmental health, but also that nearly all of the food we eat is the result of pollination? Unfortunately, with serious threats like landscape fragmentation, pesticide use and climate change, our pollinators are in trouble and their populations are declining rapidly. Establishing “green corridors” of connected habitats across parks, preserves and private gardens is one of the best ways we can support pollinators.

Pollinator Pathways is a regional effort to establish connected corridors of habitats and food sources for pollinators across the Northeast. Many counties and towns have established Pollinator Pathways projects, including Putnam County and Philipstown.

The Philipstown initiative, led by the Philipstown Garden Club, is a collaboration among local environmental organizations, including HHLT, focused on education and outreach to encourage residents to support pollinators.

The Putnam initiative, coordinated by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County, takes this a step further and is working to create a pollinator-friendly corridor spanning all Putnam County communities, and forging linkages with existing Pollinator Pathways networks in Westchester and Fairfield Counties.

To join the Pollinator Pathway, you can commit to:

  • Plant native plants such as wildflowers, shrubs and trees, which provide critical food and habitat for pollinators
  • Go pesticide-free
  • Rethink your lawn by mowing less often, leaving clippings, providing a source of clean water and leaving dirt patches for native ground nesting bees.

Our Stewardship Coordinator, Julia Rogers, brings us into her garden in her latest “Nature Time” video to tell us more about Pollinator Pathways and how we can help support pollinators with small changes in our own backyards, in addition to the ways listed above:

Learn more about how YOU can help pollinators!

Pledge to support pollinators and join the Putnam and/or Philipstown Pollinator Pathways

Check out the brochure for the Philipstown Pollinator Pathway and many other handy resources on their Pollinator Pathways webpage

Learn how to create a “paradise for pollinators” with this two-part online course led by Putnam Master Gardeners (note: a recording of both sessions will soon be available here)

Dig in! Plant these pollinator-friendly perennials, trees and shrubs, and annuals in your garden

Buy native plants for your garden at these local nurseries

Order native perennials from the Putnam CCE’s online plant sale fundraiser (with contact-less pickup)

Rethink your lawn

Read about the Philipstown pollinator coalition in the Putnam County News and Recorder

Connect with an ecological landscape professional if you need help designing, planting and maintaining a pollinator-friendly garden

Visit these local gardens with pollinator plants (once social distancing measures have been eased)

Be sure to check out more “Nature Time” videos and connect with us on Facebook for more ideas on staying connected with nature from your home.