We have been busy as bees this fall at the ELC creating our pollinator garden! Across the world there have been a decline in pollinators due to loss of habitat and increased use of insecticides. We all can combat this decline by providing pesticide-free habitat and food for our pollinators with local gardens.

Potted plants sit on the ground in a garden

Preparing to plant pollinator-friendly plants. Credit: Kaili Schroeder

Pop quiz! What are pollinators and why do they matter?

Pollinators are the reason we have food, ecosystems, soil, and other natural resources. They enjoy pollen for food but in the process of eating they carry pollen from plant to plant. This disperses genetic material and allows plants to reproduce, including the agricultural crops we enjoy eating. Let’s ensure pollinators have food too.

What types of pollinators do we have in Colorado?

Yes, bees are important, but did you know the well-renowned honeybee is not native to the United States? They are very important in their pollination role, but Colorado has almost 1,000 different species of native bees and 250 species of native butterflies. Did you know that birds, bats, moths, flies, beetles, and even wasps are pollinators too? Let’s not forget the important role some of these overlooked pollinator species play.

Perennials on the ground in the process of being planted in a large garden

Some perennials can be planted in the fall. Credit: Kaili Schroeder

Next time you’re at the ELC, take a meander through the garden (the fenced plot south of the building) and see if you can identify the plants growing there. Imagine what it would bee like to live as a pollinator. Make sure to say a big thank you to a bird, moth, or fly for the hard work they do pollinating our beautiful world.

A big thank you to our human helpers!

A few community members and local nurseries have been super helpful in kicking this garden project into gear. Thank you to community member Pauline Nol for donating seeds and transplants, as well as her time, knowledge, and kindness.

Thank you to the helpful workers at Gulley Greenhouse and Fort Collins Nursery for their time and expertise. Many of our new plants came from these businesses!

A big thank you to community member Ruth Inglis-Widrick for being such an incredible wealth of knowledge, advice, and generosity.