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Pollinator Pathway


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Welcome to the Pepperell Pollinator Pathway!

Pepperell is a small town with a population of 12,000, nestled in the woods of north central Massachusetts. With a rich colonial history, small-town feel and beautiful natural resources, the town offers 20 miles of hiking trails. two federally-designated Wild & Scenic Rivers, and 3,000 acres of open space.

To help preserve our resources, the town's Invasive & Native Plant Advisory Committee has partnered with town committees, nonprofits and conservation groups, residents and schools to create more sustainable landscapes on both public and private properties.

One of the Committee's goals is to inform and encourage residents and organizations about how to rethink their own landscapes to increase biodiversity through use of native plantings and safe environmental practices. By joining the Pollinator Pathway Project, residents can create pathways from their own safe habitat properties to our protected lands and other private properties.

Visit us on Facebook, at 'Green Pepperell'

Link to our "Native Plant Guide"

Learn more about native and invasive plants and our Committee on the town website

email us at:

Town Gardens

Town Hall Pollinator Garden
1 Main St., Pepperell MA 01463

In June of 2020, the Pepperell Garden Club partnered with the Invasive & Native Plant Advisory Committee and the Highway Department to transform the Town Hall garden. With the Town Hall sitting adjacent to the Library native plant gardens, this is our first true Pollinator Pathway. This highly-visible garden had become overrun with invasive plants, and all existing plants were non-native. Volunteers transformed the space into a showy pollinator garden, comprised of about 75% native plants, to include such pollinator powerhouses as mountain mint, butterfly weed, common milkweed, rose milkweed, spotted bee balm, bee balm, coreopsis, salvia, evening primrose, blue mistflower, asters, foxglove beardtongue. This garden demonstrates how to integrate sound garden design principles with sustainable gardening practices, all aimed at supporting pollinators.

The Lawrence Library Gardens
15 Main St., Pepperell, MA 01463

Pepperell's Lawrence Library gardens have evolved from a formal Victorian design to a more modern aesthetic, which still exists today in some parts of the grounds. The library has multiple gardens around the property, each with its own unique character. Recently, a shift in perspective about sustainability and accessibility began to take root resulting in several new native plant gardens.

Original art by Annette Cate

The Pocket Pollinator Garden

Most recently, in 2021, the Pocket Pollinator & Monarch Waystation Garden was added to demonstrate how residents can set aside even a small space in their own yards to aid pollinators. Prior to planting, a large area of invasive plants--Asian bittersweet, multiflora rose, barberry and garlic mustard were removed by the Invasive & Native Plant Advisory Committee and volunteers. The Highway Department provided a thick bed of arborist wood chips for mulch and to delineate a path. Signage was created and all the plants have identification labels. The 25 species of plants in our pocket garden are all "pollinator magnets," providing a range of color throughout the growing season. Some of the plants are: Spicebush, New York ironweed, cardinal flower, goldenrods, asters, sundial lupine, mountain mint, bee balm, great blue lobelia, coreopsis, golden Alexander, Eastern columbine, anise hyssop and pearly everlasting. This garden was designed and planted by the Invasive and Native Plant Advisory Committee and the Friends of the Lawrence Library Gardeners.

The Children's Garden and the Native Shrub Entrance Garden

Two smaller native gardens were added in 2019 and 2020. The first, at the entrance to the library, features native shrubs, including Arrowwood, Redbud, Red twig dogwood, New Jersey Tea and Bearberry. The Children's Pollinator garden has a Black Chokeberry shrub, bee balm, black-eyed Susan, mountain mints, butterfly weed, barren strawberry, evening primrose and more. This garden was designed and planted by the Friends of the Lawrence Library Gardeners.

The Barbara Cooney Memorial Garden

Also in 2018, the library was named a Literary Landmark by the American Library Association's United for Libraries in honor of children's author and illustrator Barbara Cooney, who lived in Pepperell for many years. The library was featured in her book Miss Rumphius. The memorial stone is surrounded by a bed of native Woodland Phlox and Sundial Lupines. This garden was designed and planted by the Friends of the Lawrence Library Gardeners.

The Greens Brook Trail Woodland Garden

n 2018, the library opened a woodland trail behind the library. The trail is accessible to people with motor and visual impairments, and offers a quiet space with seating for young and old. Along the trail, is a quiet woodland play area for children, named "Pooh's Thoughtful Spot." The trail entrance features a native plant garden with shade-loving favorites, such as Eastern redbud, Northern Bush Honeysuckle, Cardinal flower, wild geranium, Solomon seal, bloodroot, mayapple and more, all fronted with a bed of wild strawberry. This project was made possible by the Nashoba Conservation Trust, and the Friends of the Library.

The Fitz Community Center - Pollinator Rain Garden
45 Main St., Pepperell, MA 01463

When Pepperell's old elementary school was converted to the "Fitz" Community Center in 2019, the front entrance garden was overrun with invasive bittersweet, swallow wort, and plenty of weeds. Volunteers cleaned it out and replanted it with 30 native plant species to provide color and interest throughout the growing season, all of which are pictured and identified on the Visitor Information Board. By using the rainwater runoff from the expansive building roof, this garden has not been manually watered since the year it was planted.

The Nissitissit Middle School Outdoor Classroom Pollinator Garden
33 Chace Ave., Pepperell, MA 01463

Gardens are for sharing, and all the plants in the Nissitissit Middle School's new Outdoor Classroom pollinator garden were donated by residents, parents, students, teachers, and administrators.

In June 2022, the school partnered with the Invasive & Native Plant Advisory Committee to share information with students about the importance of pollinators to the ecosystem, and to provide planting guidance. The students determined the garden design, dug the holes and did most of the planting in a single day. INPAC prepared a garden guide for teachers to use during the school year about the benefits of native plants, importance of pollinators, plant photos of what's in this garden, as well as descriptions and fun facts about each.

There is a variety of native plants in this garden, of which about 80% are real native pollinator magnets, such as New England Asters, Wild Bergamot, Woodland Sunflower, Joe Pye Weed and Foxglove Beardtongue. Also included are trees such as White Oak and Gray Birch, that will one day shade this area and provide habitat for pollinators and birds. Shrubs round out the plant variety, including Lowbush Blueberry, Meadowsweet, Flowering Raspberry and Elderberry.

Conservation Properties - Restoration Projects
Keyes Parker Conservation Area
36 Oak Hill Road, Pepperell, MA

The 70-acre Keyes Parker Conservation Area, owned by the town and managed by the Conservation Commission, was the focus of a significant brook continuity restoration project in 2022.

The project used Nature-based Solutions to restore portions of Sucker Brook, a cold-water fishery and tributary of the Nissitissit River. The removal of a dam and replacement of an undersized culvert, restored the brook to a time when the brook ran free. The restoration effort connected fragmented sections of Sucker Brook, encouraged the natural movement of sediment, which had been impounded by the dam and undersized culvert, improved water quality and quantity, improved aquatic habitat and, included invasive plant removal and thousands of native plantings to complete the restoration effort.

In concert with the culvert and dam work, the Invasive and Native Plant Advisory Committee spent many hours on this property removing and cutting back invasive Buckthorn, Asian Bittersweet, Honeysuckle, Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose.

Following the dam removal and construction phases, the Conservation Commission brought together the community - members from Trout Unlimited, the Invasive & Native Plant Advisory Committee, Nashoba Conservation Trust, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and residents who frequent the trails on a day in May to install native wetland and meadow plants all around the areas that were disturbed by the construction and the invasive removals. Plants included: White oak, Red oak, Serviceberry, Winterberry, Highbush blueberry, Pussy Willow, Elderberry, Buttonbush, Black and Red Chokeberry, Silky dogwood, Speckled Alder, Arrowwood, Gray Birch, Nannyberry, Boneset, Blue Flag Iris, Swamp Milkweed, Spotted Joe Pye Weed, Wool grass, Lurid sedge, Sensitive fern, Pickerelweed, as well as native wetland seed mixes containing a selection of native grasses and wildflowers. Further, a local Girl Scout completed her Silver Service award for the work she did to plant seven Black Willow trees. All these native plants have helped reduce erosion by stabilizing soil, filtering water and purifying air, while supporting native fauna with food, shelter, and protection from predators.

Conservation Properties - Restoration Projects - Seminatore Woods Pollinator Meadow - Pond St., Pepperell MA

Nashoba Conservation Trust (NCT) transformed a 2-acre pasture covered with invasive plants into a pollinator meadow that is an oasis for bees, dragonflies, butterflies, and other wildlife. The meadow, part of the Seminatore Woods Conservation Area, is accessed via a lovely woodland trail off Pond Circle.

With grant funding from the Community Foundation of North Middlesex and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), NCT worked with a Xerces Society consultant to create a multi-year Pollinator Conservation Activity Plan (CAP). The CAP included numerous suggestions to increase the diversity of flowering plants, providing more food and cover for a wide variety of pollinators.

NCT volunteers began work in 2018 with access trail clearing and a widespread invasive plant removal effort, followed by soil preparation and wildflower seeding late in the year. 

In the spring of 2020, volunteers from the NCT community, along with student volunteers, planted an additional 600 plugs of 12 species of flowering perennials. The variety includes Butterfly weed, Scarlet bee balm, 2 species of Mountain mint, 2 species of Goldenrod, NY Aster, Foxglove beardtongue, Helenium, NY ironweed, and Cardinal flower.

In addition to increasing biodiversity at the site, the pollinator meadow was envisioned as a model for Pepperell’s residents to create their own pollinator-friendly, native plant habitats. NCT sponsors educational activities for the community focusing on the beneficial role of pollinators and native plant species to our own well-being.

Resources and Flyers

Spring Invasive Plant Information

Garlic Mustard Challenge

Homeowners Guide to Invasive Plant Management


Pepperell Video Resources

Gardening with Native Plants Presentation

Gardening with Native Plants presented by Deb Fountain
February 24, 2022

Our Partners

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