Enhancing Pollinator Health & Habitat
In the fall of 2016 we applied for a large grant from the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation to fund the completion of the Garden City Pollinator Habitat. This garden was also begun in the fall of 2016 in partnership with the Chinden Gardeners Club and funding from The City of Garden City, The US Fish and Wildlife Service, local businesses and private contributions. In May of this year we were awarded this grant in the amount of $21,500.00. The grant includes funds for completing the habitat and for education.
Most of the year was dedicated to implementing the habitat plans. Pathways were designed and marked by volunteers, then constructed by a local contractor. The habitat garden contains 8 separate beds with over 300 plants. Over 80 varieties insure all season blooms. Thick planting will help to keep weeds at bay. Several trips to nurseries and planting days were needed to complete all the planting and irrigation. Many hours of volunteer work completed this task. A group of volunteer “Weekly Weeders” was established and weeds were kept under control. The garden is along a public walkway that is well used. Walkers and bicyclists would frequently stop to tell the volunteers how much they appreciated our work.
The work in the garden brought in more partners. The Great Boise Rotary Club made a large donation of a new table and trash can for the garden and also replaced all the worn out interpretive signs in River Pointe Park. As the pollinator habitat is part of River Point Park, one of the signs ended up in an entrance to the habitat. Rotary agreed to let us use that sign stand for our main interpretive sign provided we give them another sign stand to be installed elsewhere in the park. A citizen donor came forward to purchase that sign stand.
An Eagle Scout candidate, Keaton Kesler, his family and scout troop built two water features for the garden that are designed to work with our drip system. Keaton built the towers at home and his troop built the basins on site. While some Scouts helped install our 2nd solitary bee house and a registry for the Great Sunflower Project, others planted flowers.
Work is currently progressing on 7 interpretive signs for the Pollinator Habitat. Plant identification signs have been purchased and will be installed in the spring. The last step will be installation of a sitting wall surrounding the habitat, with sandstone signs to identify the garden and recognize donors.
The City of Garden City has included plans for another pollinator garden as part of a park remodel.
Garden City Pollinator Habitat September 2017
Policies & Practices
We did not make much progress in this area. However, Aimee Code, Pesticide Program Director for the Xerces Society is coming in March to present one of our lectures. We have arranged for a round table discussion for local city parks directors and others interested in learning how to add pollinator protection to their IPM plans or how to create an IPM plan.
Education & Outreach
We created a handout with plants for pollinators on one side and information about native bees on the other. We also purchased 4 different topical brochures from Pollinator Partnership. These have been available at our display table at City Hall and taken to all outreach talks. Judy Snow continued her speaking engagements to adult and youth groups reaching out to approximately 243 people.
The New Roots summer camp brought 25 young immigrants and refugees, ages 11 – 17 to the Pollinator Habitat for a morning of education and volunteer work. They distributed our mountain of compost, while learning about pollinators…and compost! In addition to the grant funds, ongoing education will also be funded by the sale of personalized bricks for the entrance to the Garden City Pollinator Habitat. Working with the Garden City Library, we are presenting a lecture series in 2018 and arranging tours and classes for youth and adults. We established a FaceBook page and post regularly.
This year’s celebration included 14 stations with vendors, activities for kids, demonstrations and information. We had a pollinator walk and a presentation about monarch butterflies. Everyone agreed that the highlight this year was a local beekeeper who brought live bees and honey to sell. The bees were very popular and he donated 10% of his sales to us. About 150 people attended.
New Roots Summer Camp Kids
Local Website & Contact Information
The City of Garden City website contains the information about Bee City USA under the “helpful links” tab. www.gardencityidaho.org
Garden City Pollenteers:
Judy Snow, Chairman 208-371-4140 firstname.lastname@example.org