QRWA Pollinator Habitat
In 2010 the QRWA established a 50 square foot Bee & Butterfly Garden to create a sanctuary for nature's pollinators and a key component to a healthy and sustainable food source. Over the past 13 years the area has experienced drought, aggressive weeds, removing enormous amounts of mug wort, 2 mulberry trees and other invasives. The area had to be leveled to remove a great deal of what was just a garden that included non-native plants. Due to lack of volunteers during the growing season the “garden” was revamped in 2017 to a “pollinator habitat” which more accurately reflects our original objective. The sole caretaker for maintaining and converting the “garden” to a “pollinator habitat” since 2012 has been Advanced Master Gardener and QRWA/member volunteer Becky Martorell. With Becky’s background and involvement with the organization she was able to recruit Master Gardner and Liz Santamaria who assisted in the plant selection and newly designed habitat. The habitat now has a pathway of stone dust, so it is wheelchair accessible. Through “in kind” services, volunteers, and member donations we have been able to create this habitat and it is our hope that we can recruit individuals or groups to "adopt" a section and care for it throughout the growing season. We also hope to install some type of watering system so that the plants remain healthy and well hydrated for our pollinators.
Once our habitat is fully established, it will be a place where passersby can take a respite, sitting on a bench under a shade tree, watching all the pollinators fly from one plant to the next. The habitat is located next to a major walking trail, and many people stop to ask questions when they see us working there. So, it will become an educational focal point, where we hope to give educational talks every summer.