Updated: Mar 6, 2021
The Pollinator Pathway is a project organized by volunteers from town conservation organizations (listed on each town's page) working together to establish pollinator-friendly habitat and food sources for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinating insects and wildlife along a series of continuous corridors. Most native bees have a range of about 750 meters, so the goal is to connect properties that are no farther apart than that. This project began in 2017 in Wilton, CT. Since then, pathways have been established in over 200 towns in CT, NY, MA, NJ, PA, RI, OR and the list keeps growing. The above map shows the towns in lower Fairfield County in CT that have joined together to provide this important connected habitat. To continue this growth, we invite you to start a Pollinator Pathway in your town. The following are some simple steps that have proved invaluable.
Organize a group of interested conservation organizations (garden club, land trust, watershed organization, nature center, town conservation commission…). Create a steering committee of volunteers from each organization.
Identify land of highest conservation value to the community, and identify a pathway that connects these areas as well as open spaces already protected. The Hudson to Housatonic Regional Conservation Partnership (H2H) can provide access to regional strategic conservation maps for planning purposes for groups in the following counties: Fairfield (CT), Westchester, Dutchess, or Putnam (NY).
Hold a “kick-off” event at your library or community center to announce the launch of your pollinator pathway. Host speakers to discuss threats to pollinators, the importance of native plants to their survival, alternatives to pesticides… Contact us for speaker list.
Let us know if you would like to have a page on the Pollinator-pathway.org website where you can list events and contact information for those interested in joining. Consider setting up a Facebook page, like @Wilton Pollinator Pathway, for example.
Raise money through donations or grants to remove invasives and plant native plants in your town’s open spaces. Invite the community to volunteer at planting events. Show volunteers which plants are the local invasives and which natives are good replacements, then put everyone to work! So far, these organizations have supported plantings with grants: Sustainable CT, REI, FactSet, CT Ornithological Society, Patagonia, Hartford Audubon, several Rotary Clubs and Garden Clubs, and private foundations like Anne Richardson Fund and Global Preservation Society.
Contact residents along the designated pathway and invite them to avoid using pesticides and add native plants to their landscaping. Consider offering that garden club members will visit on-site to advise on how to add native tree, shrubs, perennials or a meadow and which plants will work best in their yard.
Consider sponsoring workshops for building bird houses and mason bee hotels, sponsor butterfly walks and talks on issues related to pollinators.
Engage with your local municipality to enact a resolution or proclamation that will provide safety for pollinators. To read about what other municipalities have accomplished click here.
Contact the local paper and engage them in helping to publicize the plight of pollinators and what your town is doing to help support them.
Engage volunteers and residents in citizen science projects: keep a count of plants your town adds to its pathway; sponsor local bee, butterfly & bird counts; take part in Bumble Bee Watch, INaturalist, City Nature Challenge, or in NY the Empire State Native Pollinator Survey.
Keep in touch and share ideas! More information on each of these steps is available. Contact us with questions at Info@pollinator-pathway.