The West Haven Pollinator Pathway has begun our second season in 2022 with another 50/50 match grant from Sustainable CT.
Open space brings neighbors together for recreation and relaxation as we learn about the importance of perennial pollinators supporting our environment.
Neighbors prepare sites, then install and support perennial native plants that will spread, seed and attract more pollinators, year after year, instead of replanting annuals that only live one season.
Hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, bees, and wasps are essential to our environment and our food supply, not to mention they support the propagation of flowers and other plants. Native plants also support caterpillars which provide food to migrating birds.
Pollinator Pathway West Haven is increasing the biomass of perennial pollinator plants in West Haven CT as part of a commitment to education, sustainability, quality of life, and community building.
Pollinator Pathway West Haven: UPDATE 9/22/22
Our 2022 project which was not matched in by Sustainable Ct due to lack of participants. $375- was returned to the 5 donors so there was no plant installation in the Fall of 2022. We needed a minimum of 20 participants to achieve the match goal, and will offer the match grant opportunity in April 2023 for installation in the first week of May 2023.
For 2023 we plan to have a 5000 sqft site at the Ora Mason baseball field, and seek approval from the West Haven Public Schools to create gardens that will serve as pollinator education centers, possibly mirroring the work done by other schools to teach children and parents about seed starting and pollinator resource management. It's important to understand that pollinators are not hazardous to people, while people threaten pollinators with pesticides
People are welcome to participate with native plant selection, site preparation, installation, mainatainence, seed starting, propagation, and educational experiences.
In September 2020 our team installed 624 perennial pollinator plants (Wild Bergamot, Short Toothed Mountain Mint, Mountain Mint, Sweet Goldenrod, White Yarrow, Butterfly Weed, Eastern Bluestar/Blue Ice, Purple Lovegrass, Little Bluestem Prairie Grass and NY Ironweed/Vernonia ) in 8 locations, with quantities of 222, 48, 10, 36, 192, 20,70 & 24 plants all in West Haven, CT public space. We had 35 Donors (5 anonymous) contribute between $20 and $100 each. We used $1375 for the plants and $100 for signs. We also had a member reimbursed for $281 for 43 bare root shrubs, Leaving a balance of $929-
The Fall 2021 installation of $979- provided an addition of 464 plants which were installed in the existing sites, and a new site in Contact Park, all these installations can be viewed on our Facebook page
Our stated goal remains to maintain existing sites, identify new sites, then prepare new areas using cardboard covered with wood chips or solarization.
Teaching people the value of site preparation and propagation of hardy native pollinators, compared to the installation of cosmetic annuals is a sustainable management plan that will increase biomass every year. The site preparation can take up to 6 months so now is always the time to begin.
Another expansion of the project can be direct seeding to support buying plugs as it seems we can seed 60,000 square feet for around $1200 (estimates from $900-1500 for 50 lbs seed). We will continue to seek sponsors and knowledge to support this. Possible sites include the Helm Street Hills aka Old 06516 Incinerator.
Everybody who helped brings something to the project for which I and West Haven am grateful. My experience increased my working knowledge of plant species, site preparation, installation practices, and shopping for products while improving my communication and management skills. My previous gardening experience includes tomatoes, basil, pumpkins, houseplants, and chili peppers. You may reach David Carr directly at 203-877-27024 extension 400826 which transfers directly, or other means. Thank you all for your participation. Make today what you imagined.