2018 Is the Gateway Year of the Pollinator!

At the Gateway Nature Preserve, pollinators have always been a source of inspiration, for both their beauty and their ecological benefits. Bees are the best known pollinators, but wasps, butterflies, moths, birds, beetles, and even bats help spread pollen.

Monarch2.jpg

Pollinators are important because they transfer pollen from flower to flower, or even within one blossom, to aid plant fertilization. Without them, plants would not produce fruit and seeds. This is important for farmers and gardeners, but it is important for wildlife, too. 

Pollinator numbers have dropped in recent years for a number of reasons including pesticide use and loss of habitat. The Gateway Nature Center has many plants—including wildflowers, grasses, blackberries, and pawpaws— that form part of a complex food web that supports pollinators. 

We can help them in several ways, by planting flowering plants, providing host plants, such as milkweed, that provide food in the larval stage of moths and butterflys, and by providing habitat in the form of “insect hotels.” 

In 2018, we will celebrate pollinators all year long!  

We are planning a pollinator garden, with native plants and “insect hotels”

Identifying and protecting host plants that support caterpillar development

Offering programs to learn about pollinators and how you can support them at home. 

Watch for updates, programs, and ways you can get involved!

  Hummingbirds like the one pictured here play an important role in pollination.   Photo Courtesy of Zac Durant on Upsplash

Hummingbirds like the one pictured here play an important role in pollination.

Photo Courtesy of Zac Durant on Upsplash