×

Pollinator Friendly New Ulm Day is June 5

Yellow prairie coneflower plants will be given away at the New Ulm Pollinator Garden open house.

The public is invited to Pollinator Friendly New Ulm Day,

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 5 at the New Ulm Pollinator

Park, 2250 North Broadway.

• Learn about native plants, pollinators, and how people can help, and

of the five undeveloped pollinator areas in New Ulm.

At left, a monarch caterpillar on a swamp milkweed plant.

• Locations of pollinator areas will be provided along with a native plant

listing for our area

• Free prairie coneflower plant to the first 25 groups of visitors.

• Future plans include more walking trails in the pollinator park.

Photos by Deb Steinberg

At right, a bee on meadow blazing star plant.

The public is invited to Pollinator Friendly New Ulm Day, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 5 at the New Ulm Pollinator Park, 2250 North Broadway.

Learn about native plants, pollinators, and how people can help, and of the five undeveloped pollinator areas in New Ulm.

Locations of pollinator areas will be provided along with a native plant listing for our area

Free prairie coneflower plant to the first 25 groups of visitors.

Future plans include more walking trails in the pollinator park.

Washington Learning Center teacher Carla Berg, left, poses with students from left, Cahnon Ahlness, Nash Wendinger and Brooke Kral in the school pollinator garden.

What is all the buzz about pollinators?

A pollinator is a bee, butterfly, bird, or other living thing that gathers pollen from flowers. They do this to obtain the pollen and/or nectar for food. In the process, pollination takes place. Many bees, butterflies and birds are in a severe decline. Much of the decline is attributed to the disappearance of native plant habitat.

In 1908, Minnesota had 18 million acres of prairie.

Today only a little over 1 percent of native prairie remains. There are many contributing factors to the decline in nature along with habitat loss which could include change of land use, urbanization, invasive species, climate change, pesticide use and disease. Natural areas and their life are definitely shrinking at an alarming rate. We aim to draw attention to the diminishing world of nature.

Gardening and agricultural productivity is directly dependent on pollinators, especially bees, for producing more than one-third of our food products.

A green frog on common milkweed,

Without pollinators providing pollen, many plants could not set seed and reproduce, and consequently many animal populations and species would die out. This has serious economic implications for humans and for native ecosystem diversity and stability.

The good news is that even small actions by individuals can help. Even a small backyard space, a window box, or a few potted pollinator plants can make a difference. Better yet, replace a patch of that manicured grass with a native garden.

Whether you live in an apartment, own your own home or farm, you can create an oasis of pollinator habitat. Perhaps your business, company or organization has some land that could be conserved for pollinator habitat.

We are in the process of designating New Ulm as a Pollinator Friendly City, which manages some of its land to provide habitat for pollinators. Volunteers working with the New Ulm Park & Recreation Department recommend that these five city-owned sites be managed for pollinators:

1) Pollinator Park (2250 North Broadway) including the 2228 North Broadway undeveloped areas and the two holding ponds at 2300 North Broadway. There is a pollinator garden, woodland, and prairie that are useful for pollinators. The New Ulm Bicycle Trail is nearby and there are three walking trails that start at the Pollinator Park.

A dragonfly on swamp milkweed,

2) Adams Park at 620 Cottonwood Street. A flood plain forest of American Basswood trees that sing with the sounds of bees sipping nectar and pollen in June. A 2/3 mile loop trail is marked with red flags. The park is along the Cottonwood River.

3) A marshy area between the BMX Park (315 1st South) and the Skateboard Park (316 3rd South) A small wet area with cattails and swamp milkweed.

4) South Market Park at 1514 South German Street. A moist area with Touch-Me-Not wild flowers and other native plants, along the New Ulm Bicycle Trail, signs along South German Street.

5) 5th North Area Holding Pond at 601 North Garden Street. A large area east of the New Ulm Medical Clinic that has water control as its primary purpose. It also has a wide array of plants useful to pollinators. There is a popular sidewalk around the area and benches.

These diverse areas give a good example of various pollinator friendly habitats. We hope that these areas would also encourage individuals and groups to establish their own pollinator friendly areas.

The sites selected were those most ready to be managed for pollinators. They have minimal maintenance that would be continued.

Necessary mowing and chemical weed control would be scheduled at times best suited for pollinators. Chemical use would be limited to those most “friendly” to pollinators and only applied as necessary to control the spread of invasive plants.

Volunteers would be allowed to plant wildflowers to brighten the landscape and provide pollinator habitat.

No additional city funding would occur for management of these five sites. Current, minimal maintenance would continue. Fundraising efforts would be used to purchase educational signage to locate the sites and describe the pollinator habitat for the natural areas.

Several schools, businesses and New Ulm citizens have created and planted their own pollinator gardens and are learning about the importance of pollinators first hand. Students are learning so much by getting outdoors and enjoying nature. They are amazed with how to plant the little pollinator plants and water and care for them.

Anyone interested in joining the pollinator friendly group, please contact Deb at 507-276-9564 or Joe at 507-276-8326 or Julie at 507-766-4576.

Newsletter

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
   

COMMENTS

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today