Welcome to the Essex Pollinator Pathway

 

The Essex Pollinator Pathway got its start in 2016 when the Essex Land Trust (ELT) in partnership with the Essex Garden Club (EGC) established the Pollinator Garden at Cross Lots, one of the ELT properties in town. Now in its fourth season, the Pollinator Garden with dozens of native nectar plants provides important food for birds, native bees, bats, and a variety of butterflies. Some of the more visible flowering plants are Monarda (Bee Balm), Agastache (Giant Hyssop), Echinacea (Cone Flower), and Aster.

Read about the Essex Pollinator Pathway - Essex Historical Society Welcomes the Birds and the Bees with Pollinator Garden

 

Our Anchor Gardens
Pollinator Garden at Cross Lots. est. 2016
Address: 40 West Avenue, Essex, CT


Diz Callender’s Perennial Garden, Osage Trails, est.2018-2019
Address: Foxboro Road, Essex, CT

 

Pratt House Pollinator Garden, Historic Pratt House, est.2020
Address: 19 West Avenue, Essex, CT

Brochures that identify the garden plants are available on the side of the Cross Lots kiosk. In addition to a list of the blooms, the brochure also indicates bloom times and pollinators that favor each plant. The bloom cycle starts in mid-April and continues through September. The brochure can also be used as a planting guide if you wish to establish your own pollinator garden to help support the food chain.

Osage Trails

In 2018 the Essex Land Trust (ELT) decided to revitalize the nearly 1,800 square foot perennial garden that was originally part of an eight-acre park like property donated to the ELT 20 years earlier.

 

 The property is now known as Osage Trails. The garden beds were cleared of years of debris to uncover what was left of the original plantings.

  

In 2019 things started to come back to life revealing original plantings of Iris, Daffodils, Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly bush, Lilacs and Butterfly weed. More natives including New England Aster, Common Milkweed, Hyssop, Bee Balm and Penstemon were added to the original plantings by ELT Volunteers.  In its second season, the garden is a buzz with an ever-growing population of bees, butterflies, and birds.

The Pratt House Pollinator Garden
 

In 2020, the Essex Historic Society offered the use of an area on The Pratt House Historic Property for a new pollinator garden. A group of individuals representing the Essex Historic Society (EHS), Essex Land Trust (ELT), Essex Garden Club (EGC), Essex Sustainability Committee and River COG came together and established a new pollinator garden.

Almost 200 plants creating a selection of 40 different varieties of natives and perennials known to benefit native bees, birds and butterflies were planted across 2/3 of the 1500 square foot space. The balance of the garden is targeted for planting in 2021. The project fits in with the growing concern to help support our food chain by providing pollinator pockets with the hope of establishing a pathway in the Northeast.

Join the pathway with a few simple steps at home:

  • Create a pollinator pocket

    • plant a window box or a container with native pollinator plants

    • provide a source of clean water

    • plant some of your lawn with native plantings including flowers, shrubs, and trees

    • Leave leaf litter on garden beds to over-winter, creating safe places for insects and their babies

 

  • Rethink your lawn!

    • Mow higher and less often.

    • Leave the clippings on the grass as fertilizer rather than adding chemicals

    • Consider the use of slow-release organic fertilizers if you do need to fertilize

  • Plant native ground cover within your lawn

 

Our way of life is being affected by pesticides, herbicides and the promotion and sale of poison carrying, non-native, and sterile plants. Establishing Pollinator Gardens to establish a contiguous corridor for pollinators plays an important role in environmental recovery.