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Pollinator Pathway


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Black Long Tail Butterfly.jpeg

Black Long Tail Butterfly.jpeg

As the largest municipality in Massachusetts by area, Plymouth currently has approximately 28% of our 65,000 acres designated as protected open space. Plymouth contains the third highest per square mile occurrence of rare, threatened and endangered species of any community in Massachusetts, 36 miles of coastline and 365+ inland ponds including 32 globally rare coastal plain ponds. The town also sits on the second largest sole-source aquifer in the state.

Foothills Preserve
84 Beaver Dam Road, Plymouth, MA

The Foothills Preserve, a former cranberry agricultural site, was restored to native conditions in 2021 after acquisition by the Town. As part of this restoration, approximately 1 mile of brook was restored, and 58 different plant species comprising over 20,000 individual plants were placed throughout the site. These include important pollinator species such as: Blue Vervain (Verbena hestata), Early Goldenrod (Solidago juncea), Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea), multiple Milkweed species (Asclepias spp.), Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea), Swamp Azalea (Rhododendron viscosum), and flowering shrubs such as Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) Blueberry species (Vaccinium spp.), Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), and Winterberry (Ilex verticillata).

The Town was also fortunate to partner with MassAuduon at Foothills to help reestablish potential habitat for the Frosted Elfin (Callophys irus), a butterfly in decline in Massachusetts. This included creating six separate locations on the property where thousands of the Elfin’s host plant, Yellow Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria), were planted with the help of dozens of volunteers. As part of this project, drill seeding also took place to establish populations of numerous other native species, include the pollinator species of Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis), Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), Ox-eye Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides), Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) and Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa).

Plymouth County Sheriff's Farm Companion & Pollinator Garden
74 Obery St Plymouth MA 02360

The Companion & Pollinator Garden at Plymouth County Sheriff's Farm is a partnership project of food production beds and pollinator plants put together with support from Mass Audubon and Terra Cura. This small but growing section of raised beds nestled within the petting zoo area can be found near the picnic area and parking lot.  Beyond the raised bed project is a 90-acre farm - the oldest operational prison farm in the country that was historically used to grow food to feed inmates. As part of rehabilitative, educational, and vocational programs qualified inmates are eligible for work assignments on the farm. The farm now grows and donates thousands of pounds of fresh vegetables to area food pantries every year.  Also at this location is the new hydroponics and aquaponics Environmental Justice Education Center. 

Included is a raised bed dedicated to native plants.  Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) Clustered mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) New England Aster(Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) Wild Bergamot  (Monarda fistulosa)

Wildlands Trust at Davis Douglas Farm
675 Long Pond Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360

Wildlands Trust, at Davis Douglas Farm, has four pollinator gardens, a pollinator friendly herb garden, and a new wildflower meadow.  Almost all plants are native and include, swamp milkweed, butterfly weed, turtlehead, lobelia, rudbeckia, partridge pea, sweet fern, pearl everlasting, and many many more.  Included on the farm are pollinator friendly trees and shrubs including sourwood and crab apple trees, cranberry vibernum, winterberry, bayberry, and witch hazel.

Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary
60 Beaver Dam Road, Plymouth MA 02360

Mass Audubon Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary, a former cranberry farm, underwent the largest freshwater ecological restoration in the Northeast. The restoration included planting of 20,000 native species and today, pollinators can be found throughout the 481-acre sanctuary including Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis), New York Ironweed (Veronia noveborecensis), Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum), Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata), Lance-leaved Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis), Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Common Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) and many more. The sanctuary can be accessed at 60 Beaver Dam Road in Plymouth and is open 7 days a week, dawn to dusk.

Seaside Trail – Nelson Park

The Seaside Trail received a significant facelift in 2023 through paving, benches, and plantings. Thanks in part to a generous donation from a local resident, dozens of plants were placed throughout the trail area in fall 2023. This included two Flowering Dogwood trees (Cornus florida), and dozens of shrubs and herbaceous plantings to include Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis), Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster sp.), Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), native grasses, and 2,400 daffodil and tulip bulbs.

Manomet Observatory
125 Manomet Point Road, Plymouth, MA 02360

Manomet Observatory represents nearly 40 acres of eastern forest, coastal bluff, freshwater wetland and open grassland habitat. A living laboratory, to date over 300 species of bird, 500 species of insect and nearly 250 plant species have been documented on the property. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the Kathleen “Betty” Anderson Nature trail, which winds through a series of old farm fields and former cranberry bogs, now being managed to provide habitat for migratory birds, pollinators and other wildlife. Interpretive signs and a wildlife viewing blind along the trail offer information and a chance to observe wildlife up-close. The trail begins at our information kiosk and ends at a bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay and the Garden for Wildlife, a formal garden showcasing native plantings that promote local biodiversity.  

Trail is open dawn to dusk, seven days a week.  

For more information, visit

Myles Standish Native Plant & Pollinator Gardens
194 Cranberry Rd, Carver, MA 02330

In early 2023, Friends of Myles Standish State Forest volunteers began working on existing gardens around the Forest's headquarters buildings by enhancing the beds with pollinator-friendly species native to the region's Atlantic coastal pine barrens habitat. The main pollinator garden, located near the corner of Lower College Pond and Cranberry Road on the Plymouth/Carver border (below Smoky the Bear sign), now includes Common, Butterfly and Swamp Milkweed, Common Boneset, Joe-Pye Weed, New York Ironweed, Sweet Pepperbush, Downy Goldenrod, Bearberry, Little Blue Stem, Stiff Aster, Bird Foot Violets and Sickle-leaved Gold Aster. Additional gardens near Forest Headquarters will be enhanced in 2024. The Friends of Myles Standish State Forest welcome volunteers interested in assisting with this project. They also offer planned hikes, annual Earth Day events, a photo contest, a family fishing derby and more. For more information, email

Russel Mill Pond Conservation Area
204 Long Pond Road

Two former buildings in the Russel Mill Pond Conservation Area were demolished between 2022 and 2023, and their footprints planted to help accelerate the recovery process. Flowering species such as Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), Early Goldenrod (Solidago juncea), Heath Aster (Symphyotricum pilosum) Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata), and Purple Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpurea) were planted in these locations, along with numerous native grass species to provide cover for native animal species.

Town Brook Corridor

Since 2002, dozens of projects and five dam removals have occurred to assist in diadromous fish migration. As part of these projects, impoundments created by dams are drained and planted with native species. Multiple locations along Town Brook including the Patuxet Preserve, Holmes Park, and walking areas along the Brook have received attention and plantings with native seed-mixes, plugs, and shrubs such as Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Blue Vervain (Verbena hestata), Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium spp.), Milkweed Species (Asclepias spp.), Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago), New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), Pink Azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides), White Meadowsweet (Spiraea alba), and Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa).

Plymouth Public Library
132 South Street, Plymouth, MA

The Plymouth Public Library is fortunate to have a number of areas on the property designated for gardens. In 2023, through a grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the library was able to construct a garden with 8 - 4’x8’ raised beds  along with with a 4’x 16’ bed designated with native pollinators. The 8 raised beds grow vegetables and herbs for the library’s Little Free Pantry. Included in the planting of the pollinator garden is  Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Spotted Bee Balm (Monarda punctata), Mountain Mint (Pycantheum muticum), Foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis), Purple lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis), Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed), plus much more. There are also fruit trees planted on the front lawn including apples, pears and paw paws.  

The front garden beds which are maintained by the Plymouth Garden Club include two pollinator gardens each with Butterfly weed (Asclepias incarnata), Black-eyed Susan ( Rudbeckia fulgida), Massachusetts bearberry (Acrostaphlos uva-ursi), Foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia), Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Anise hyssop (Helenium agastache).

Plimoth Patuxet
137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth, MA 02360

Plimoth Patuxet Museums is a living history museum located on the banks of the Eel River overlooking Cape Cod Bay in Plymouth, MA. The Museum offers powerful personal encounters with history built on thorough research about the Wampanoag People and the Colonial English community in the 1600s.  

While a private residence of the Hornblower Family at the start of the twentieth century, the property was landscaped by the Olmstead Brothers and Mary Parsons Cunningham. Henry Hornblower II founded the museum in 1947 and it has since expanded to include a 17 th Century English Village, Historic Patuxet Homesite, a Grist Mill on Town Brook and a replica ship, Mayflower II. Today the 137-acre museum is home to a wide variety of plants, including many native pollinators that nourish the pollinators from bees to hummingbirds to monarch butterflies that can be found across campus. Every spring, the museum hosts a plant sale of thousands of plants, including many native varieties like Hoary Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum incanum), Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum), Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) and more.   

* Indicates gardens that are accessible with an entry ticket to the museum.    

Visitor Center Pathway Garden 

The paved pathway from the large archway to the parking lot to the scenic pavilion overlooking the Eel River leads museum guests to the Visitor Center and provides a popular walking path for several locals and their dogs. Flowering species including Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Yellow Goldenrod (Solidago Canadensis), Hoary Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum incanum), Beach Plums (Prunus maritima), Bee balm (Monarda didyma), Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) and White Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) create a rainbow of native plants from early spring to late fall.   

Patuxet Homesite Gardens* 

The Historic Patuxet Homesite provides space for guests to learn about the Native peoples who have lived here for over 12,000 years and the 17th-century lifeways of a culture that continues to thrive today. Every year the gardens at the center of the site and by the cooking arbor and plants in the surrounding landscape blossom with native pollinators including Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnate), Sunflower (Helianthus annuus), Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca), Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana), Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) and High Bush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum).   

17th Century English Village Gardens* 

The 17th Century English Village creates an immersive reproduction of the first street of Plymouth Colony in 1627. Kitchen gardens, a large corn field and the surrounding landscape feature Yellow Goldenrod (Solidago Canadensis), Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnate), Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) and High Bush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum).  

Pollinator Garden* 

The forthcoming Pollinator Garden is planned for planting by the Craft Center Pavilion in Summer 2024 thanks to volunteers from the museum’s Horticulture Volunteer Team. The Pollinator Garden will give a sampling of the variety of native pollinator plants present in Southern Massachusetts. Some plants that will be found here are New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), White Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Iron Weed (Vernonia noveboracensis), Hoary Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum incanum) and Bee Balm (Monarda didyma).    

Plimoth Patuxet Museums is open daily 9am-5pm from April-November. Tickets to the museum may be purchased online at

Additional Resources

To see the Town of Plymouth's Pollinator Pathway Action Plan please visit this link:

Plymouth Pollinator Protection Plan

To see and/or download a booklet entitled:  "Invasive Plants, The 'Dirty Dozen" of Plymouth: Identification and Control"  click on

Native Plants Recommended for Homeowners and Planners in Plymouth County, Massachusetts"  compiled for the Southeastern Pine Barrens Alliance:

To see Sustainable Plymouth's list of Pollinators, Gardening & Habitat Resources:

To see or download a booklet from the Southeast Pine Barren's Alliance entitled "Native Plants Recommended for Homeowners and Planners in Plymouth County, Massachusetts please click on the following link:

Native Plants RecommendedforHomeowners and Plannersin Plymouth County, Massachusetts


Our Partners

Sustainable Plymouth, Wildlands Trust, Town of Plymouth, Mass Audubon, Plymouth Public Library

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