Dear St. Louis Chapter of Wild Ones,
We did it with YOUR help!
A real “Pollinator Pantry” park, Pollinator Junction was born Monday, September 19, 2016 at the perfect place, the Museum of Transportation. How perfect is that? The best, most important transporters on earth will “bee” finding their haven with all the other grand transportation marvels!
Thanks to St. Louis County Parks staff, County Parks volunteers, Master Gardeners and Wild Ones Joan Featherstone, Betty Struckhoff and Tessa Wasserman, the first St. Louis County Pollinator Pantry Park is in the ground! Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter also supported the planting with a $500 donation.
This park is already “working” for pollinators but there is some finish work still to be done. It has an observation walk, and will be used by children as an outdoor classroom and for adult programs as a teaching model for pollinator gardening in cultivated spaces. The sculpture will be installed soon!
Fondly named “Pollinator Junction”, it has a full growing season of pollen and nectar food sources that are primarily Missouri native. It has been designed to attract all of Missouri’s major pollinators and host over 20 of the most common butterflies in the St. Louis area.
Best part is this is not any kind of retirement home. This will be a working pollinary garden, fully functional for viewing and use as an outdoor classroom. What a nice observation opportunity where backyard science and pretty pollinator flowers and the critical need for food plants are showcased WITH the fun of flutterflying and soon interweb support!
Now St. Louis County residents as visitors to the Museum can see and learn how easy it is to make their homescapes neighbor-friendly “life” scapes!
On site monthly education programs will be an included option with admission on dates scheduled. Tours are tentatively planned to be the 3rd Sunday of the month beginning March of 2017. Times to be announced at a later date.
This labor of love is the offspring of the Project Pollinator partnership with the Butterfly House, and several other eco-oriented partners. These partners include Wild Ones, represented by Bob Siemer and Ann Early. Everyone is good at something and St. Louis County Parks is good at gardening for people and pollinators. They have been committed and in high gear for several years and incorporating various size pollinator food plots in all of their parks.
This site was selected to be a model for the St. Louis County’s Pollinator Pantry program launched last year at the Project Pollinator‘s partnership proclamation at the Butterfly House. A call to action, it challenged St. Louis County residents to join the Million Pollinator Program which is especially focused on helping main stream homeowners interested in improving their landscapes to feed and be homes for pollinators!
The Parks developed their St. Louis County’s Pollinator Pantry program to compliment their Project Pollinator’s partnership’s mission to expand the food sources for pollinators and educate the public.
St. Louis County Parks Gardening Facebook page has more photos.
Here’s a Pollinator Junction Video:
[Editor’s note: This post is an open letter from Mary Ann Fink of St. Louis County Park’s Pantry Garden program. She is a Master Gardener and a conservation specialist, water conservationist, and habitat practitioner. Photos by Betty Struckhoff, Wild Ones member, Master Gardener, and speaker.]