COVID-19 UPDATE: The Harris Center is canceling or postponing all in-person programs and events through May 4. The Harris Center building will also be closed to visitors until May 4. Our trails and grounds remain open.

A Place for Pollinators

August 6, 2015

A dedicated group of volunteers spent this past year turning the Harris Center’s old swimming pool into a new pollinator garden, and it’s now open for visitors. Park in the lower parking area, and there it is.

Bees dine on Globe Thistle in the Harris Center pollinator garden. (photo © Francie Von Mertens)

Bees dine on Globe Thistle in the Harris Center pollinator garden. (photo © Francie Von Mertens)

The pollinator garden, alive with blooms. (photo © Emily Lord)

The pollinator garden, alive with blooms. (photo © Emily Lord)

As pollinators continue to decline, it’s ever more important to provide habitat for the many bees, butterflies, birds, and beetles that help flowers turn into fruits and vegetables. Plant selection for the new garden thus focused on both native flowering plants and non-native plants that are known pollinator magnets, as well as ensuring a constant bloom throughout the growing season. Growers were asked if they used systemic pesticides (neonicotinoids) − an important consideration, as these toxins can sometimes persist for the life of the plant. An illustrated plant list is available here.

Because the garden is so new, it needs time to fill out, and no doubt we’ll be adding a few new flowers as time wears on. In the meantime, we hope you’ll walk along the garden’s edge, sit on the benches, and enjoy the colorful buzzing and fluttering of a garden alive with native pollinators!