About the Project
What is the Pollinator Pathway?
We depend on pollinators to feed ourselves. Pollinators depend on the native plants that they have evolved to sustain them. Our modern world is filled with parking lots and landscaping that isn't friendly for pollinators. The Pollinator Pathway project aims to restore native habitats filled with native food sources for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinating insects and wildlife. Since 2017, over 200 towns in CT, NY, MA, NJ and PA have joined the pathway and committed to creating a crucial corridor for our future.
How is Granby Involved?
The Granby Wildflower Meadow is an initiative to turn a 5-acre fallow hayfield into a native wildflower meadow. We want the meadow to be more than a beautiful scene to passersby; we hope to make this an educational opportunity for Granby schools, as well as a place for bird and butterfly watching.
What can I do?
Join us in making Granby a pollinator-friendly place by becoming a member or making a donation. Our members volunteer to manage and maintain the field and assist through organizing, promoting, gardening, planting, and more. If you would like to get more involved click here.
About the Meadow
Where is the meadow located?
The Granby Wildflower Meadow is a parcel of town land located at 175 Salmon Brook Park (across from Maple View Farm). We are in the process of establishing native wildflowers in a portion of the meadow, with future plans to add additional seeds and plugs.
What are you planting in the meadow?
Native plants have often gotten a bad wrap, being named "weeds." This is simply because they grow so well and propagate so quickly. What we call weeds here, are often highly valued plants in other countries, with many American natives appearing in elegant English gardens! We are committed to establishing the plants that our native insects and wildlife need to survive...and overturning the traditional concept of what it means to "be a weed."
Can I visit the meadow?
While the wildflower meadow is being established, there isn't much to see. Additionally, the meadow is still home to undesirable plants like poison ivy. For the time being, visiting the meadow is reserved for official event days. If this changes in the future we will make an announcement via our mailing list and Facebook page.
How Can I Help?
Membership donations and volunteers are a big part of how our organization operates. Please commit to an annual member, get involved in our volunteer program, or simply help spread the word about what we're doing.
Additionally, be proactive in your home gardening by planting natives and following the tips below.
What You Can Do At Home
"No Mow May" is an effort to support native pollinators as they wake up from a long overwintering. By allowing grass to go unmown for the month, you can help create a forging habitat for early pollinators to get a headstart until more plants are in bloom.
Mulch Your Clippings
Grass clippings can add back a lot of vital nutrients to the soil. Rather than removing them from your property, simply mulch them and add them back!
Leave Your Leaves Until Spring
Many of our native insects overwinter in the fall leaves that gather under trees. By leaving the leaves in your garden until temperatures are consistently in the 50s, you give insects an opportunity to complete their life cycle. The leaves also begin to decompose and offer valuable nutrients to your garden beds and grass. So it's a win-win! And you get to put off all that leaf cleanup until the spring while you enjoy the fall holidays...what could be better?
Provide water for insects
Just like birds, insects greatly benefit from having a freshwater source. Insect baths or shallow dishes of water (replaced frequently) provide bees and other pollinators with a water stop on their pollinating journeys. **Please note that mosquitos can breed in standing water, so we recommend replacing the water every few days to limit the number of mosquitos!
Leave dead wood and bare soil for bees
When we think of bees most of us think of colony bees - like honeybees. But most varieties of bees are actually solitary and live in small holes in the ground or in dead logs. Consider leaving these safe havens for your native pollinators.
Plant native trees, shrubs and flowers
Our native insects have specialized over time, depending on a handful of plants (and sometimes a single plant species) for their lifecycle. Modern landscaping and development have focused on beauty or ease, often destroying native species that our pollinators depend on. By adding these keystone plants back into your yard, you can help attract and support native pollinators back to our area.
Use organic fertilizers
Organic fertilizers are mindful of the microorganisms that live in the soil and are designed to protect them with a more targeted approach to biological health. Non-organic pesticides do not typically take this soil structure into consideration and can be damaging for native insects and plants.
Let the bees (and wasps, and ants) be
Thanks to widespread information campaigns, people are coming around to the benefits of some bees. Other insects, however, often still get a bad wrap. Our native bumblebees, carpenter bees, wasps and ants also provide valuable pollination that's important to our ecosystem. While it's tempting to want to rid your yard of these pests, please be respectful of the job they do. If you have an infestation (e.g. a wasps's nest) that is a potential health hazard to your family, we do encourage you to get someone to deal with it. However, if you can let these insects be, please do.