Pollinator Pathway

Mansfield

Welcome to the Mansfield Pollinator Pathway. The Mansfield Town Council adopted a Pollinator Resolution in 2020. Since then, we are working in collaboration with the Towns of Chaplin and Windham, Joshua Trust and the Last Green Valley to create a corridor of adjacent properties—private residences and public spaces—that provide safe habitat for birds, bees, butterflies and other insects. Our goal is to make our region one big pollinator pathway with private, commercial and municipal spaces being pesticide free and hosting native plants; from small flower boxes or curbside strips to large parcels of land. This project will create food and habitat for pollinators such as bees, butterflies and other insects, which are in great decline.

Pollinators come in all shapes and sizes, from bees and butterflies to hummingbirds. Many insects have evolved to be plant specific and depend exclusively on native plants to host their larvae. In addition to being reliant on native plants, most local bees only have a travel range of half a mile before they need to refuel. As a result, we need to involve our community in connecting our fragmented nature preserves, parks, town owned properties and our backyards with pollinator friendly plants.

90% of all plants rely on pollinating insects in order to reproduce. Pollinators facilitate cross pollination by flying from one plant to another. The USDA states that more than 35% of our food relies on pollinators. Many insect species are plummeting, in part due to a lack of available native plants. In order to help insects thrive, we need to create pollinator pathways. This will greatly benefit the food chain, from insects to the people in our community.

Our efforts can make a huge difference to our pollinator numbers and will help improve the quality of our town's air, water and soil. Please join us!

There are four criteria to join –
1. Have a sequence of blooms from spring to fall, especially native host plants and pollinator favorites
2. Have a water feature, such as bird bath, fountain, natural source
3. Use organic practices, such as compost and avoid synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or treated mulch
4. Do garden clean up in the spring to provide shelter and food throughout the winter

Can you go one step further and join the Kiss My Grass - Goodbye program? If you keep areas of lawn for its own sake (not used for playing or entertaining for example) we would love you to kiss that grass goodbye and come take some native plants from us to put in its place. Yes, we will be giving plants away as long as supplies last! We cannot guarantee to fill all the space you make but we can give you a good foundation and as you become more attracted to the plants and realize all you are doing to help our environment and our climate, we can help you source more plants or grow them yourself from seed. Simply email us with photos and dimensions of the lawn area you have removed and information as to conditions (e.g. sunny, shady, wet, dry) and we will provide some appropriate plants.