Our cluster is now the proud home of our very own Butterfly & Pollinator Garden. The garden was constructed by neighborhood resident Ryan van Hilst as a passion project for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IBMYP) at South Lakes High School.
The garden was constructed in the spring of 2018 and is located on the common property at the bottom of Generation Drive (to the right of the parking area).
Why build a pollinator garden?
Over the last decade, the conservation statuses of many North American pollinators have become increasingly more threatened; particularly those of the honeybee and the monarch butterfly, for example. Following a survey conducted by the WWF in 2013, the organization released a report that the population of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico’s Oyamel forests was the lowest it had been in two decades. Similarly, U.S. honey bee populations have been declining at an alarming rate over the last decade. Without such essential pollinators, 90% of wild plants and 30% of global food crops would experience negative effects as a result. Now, more than ever, it is essential that humans begin to establish means of conserving these insects.
Even at the local level, citizens can still help their pollinators thrive by planting bee-friendly plants, avoiding the use of pesticides, and, among other things, building pollinator gardens. We can help our local species by constructing a safe place for them to eat, sleep, and grow; a garden for pollinators. Within this garden, we include several species essential for the preservation of pollinating species, such as phlox, milkweed, black eyed susans, and coneflowers, to name a few. The object of a pollinator garden is to supply the butterflies and bees with nectar sources throughout the growing season, including early spring and late fall.
What plants are in the garden?
As of spring 2018, the garden has the following plants:
- Common Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca)
- Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias Incarnata)
- Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Tuberosa)
- Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia Hirta)
- Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea)
- Beebalm (Monarda Fistulosa)
- Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium Fistulosum)
- Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)
- Stonecrop (Sedum)
- Maximilian Sunflower (Helianthus Maximiliani)
- Butterfly Bush (Buddleja Davidii)
- Creeping Phlox (Phlox Stolonifera)
Plants will be added as needed each year although most of these plants are perennials and will come back year after year.
Who paid for the garden?
The garden was paid for by sponsorship, donations and a grant from the Generation Cluster. The follow organizations and people have supported the garden:
- Sponsored by: American Pest
- Supported by:
- Generation Cluster
- Capitol Management Company
- Meadows Farms Nursery
- Merrifield Garden Center
- The van Hilst Family
- The Englund Family