The Brookline Pollinator Pathways group coalesced around the need to provide native habitats for birds, bees, butterflies, and other insects in Brookline and throughout the greater Boston area. These pollinators evolved in tandem with the trees, flowers and other plants that are native to our region and depend upon them for food, shelter, and safe places to reproduce. In turn, we depend upon them to control pests (such as mosquitoes), ensure our food supply (by pollinating our fruits and vegetables), and support our ecosystem. The populations of many of these native animals and plants are dwindling as their habitats are eliminated or altered by the introduction of non-native species, the use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, and development of formerly natural, open spaces.
Our mission is to promote the re-establishment of suitable habitats for pollinators on both public and private lands throughout our town through education, demonstration gardens, community involvement, and collaboration between various civic organizations that understand the vital nature of this project.
Formed in the summer of 2023, our group currently is a collaboration between Parks and Open Spaces Division of Brookline Department of Public Works, Mothers Out Front, Brookline Garden Club, Brookline public schools and interested community members. We are hoping to collaborate with more community organizations and schools to enhance the resiliency and safety of Brookline's open spaces for people and wildlife. Please visit our gardens and see how beautiful and teeming with life natural habitats can be.
Public Pollinator Gardens
Juniper and Walnut Garden
Located at the corners of Juniper and Walnut in the High Street Hill neighborhood of Brookline this garden was inspired by Hugh Mattison of Brookline GreenSpace Alliance. It was planted in late September of 2023. As always Parks and Open Space Division of DPW was very helpful in designing the garden, preparing the site and purchasing the plants. Native plants include: nodding onion, butterfly weed, bee balm, Joe Pye weed, sneezeweed, cardinal flower, switchgrass, black-eyed Susan, goldenrod and blue vervain.
Naples and Gibbs Garden
Located on the corner of Gibbs St and Naples St in Coolidge Corner, this garden was inspired by the garden being planned at the Lincoln School. Planted in May 2023 by volunteers from the neighborhood, Lawton Park Community Garden, and the Pollinator Pathways group, it is cared for by residents on Gibbs St. The Brookline Division of Parks and Open Spaces were incredibly helpful with the planning, turning over the ground to prep the site, and supplying compost and mulch and many of the plants. The remaining plants were supplied by a neighborhood condo association, and a spigot was installed in a nearby building for watering. The sign and painted rocks were created by kids at Florida Ruffin Ridley School. The garden includes the following plants: Bee Balm, White Coneflower, Carolina Rose, Black-eyed Susan, Showy Goldenrod, Butterfly Weed, Prairie Dropseed, Shenandoah Switchgrass
Brookline Village Public Library Branch
The garden is located at the main library branch, at the south end of the front loop on Washington Street and was planted in June 2023 by the Brookline Pollinator Pathways group. The garden is located on the library’s property and is supported by the library and by the Brookline Division of Parks and Open Space, which prepared the site and purchased the first batch of natives. This site is perfect for pollinators, with ample sun and a nearby source of water to maintain the plantings until they are well-established. The garden is maintained by the Brookline Pollinator Pathways group and received financial support from the Brookline Garden Club.
Lincoln School Garden
This pollinator-friendly garden, which was planted in June 2023 by the seventh graders in Ms Zobel’s and Ms Traub’s science classes, is located at the corner of Walnut and Kennard Streets. The Division of Parks and Open Space, which prepped the site and sourced and purchased the 50+ native plants, was an essential partner in this endeavor. This project was also supported by a Brookline Education Foundation Idea Lab grant awarded to Ms. Zobel and Ms Traub, which helped cover the cost of garden tools and additional materials.
The students researched which plants are native to New England, with each student planting the “native” they chose. Volunteers from the Lincoln School landscape team, the Brookline Pollinator Pathways team, and high school students in a summer garden program are responsible for watering and weeding while school is not in session.
Other Brookline schools are also planning pollinator-friendly gardens.
Join us at Brookline Pollinator Pathway:
• Plant at least 6 native trees, shrubs, grasses and plants on your property.
• Reduce your use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.
• Remove invasive species and refrain from planting them.
• Remove or reduce the size of your lawn.
• Leave leaves in your garden beds each fall for overwintering insects.
• Join pollinator-pathway.org and help us grow locally and nationally.
Email email@example.com to sign up for the Brookline Pollinator Pathway
This project is a collaboration between the Brookline Department of Public Works Division of Parks and Open Space, the Brookline Public Library, the Garden Club of Brookline, Mothers Out Front, the Brookline Public Schools and Brookline Pollinator Pathway.
We welcome other organizations to join this community-wide effort.