The Pollinator Project

Pollinator Project Pollinator Garden at Ruby Habitat Foundation

Most of us appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Regardless of season, location or circumstance, we hold the earth and its inhabitants in high regard. Over the past several years we have made efforts to restore native plant communities to one of our client’s properties and we had some success with establishing grass communities and a large native cottonwood grove. As satisfying as those successes were, those communities left us wanting more. Increasingly, we began to work with a variety of native and introduced flowering shrubs and forbs. You can imagine our delight when we discovered that the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) had a similar focus. The NRCS supports the use of native species in many conservation practices that involve seeding or transplanting. Selecting pollinator-friendly native species for these practices can provide added conservation benefits. These practices include:

  • Channel bank vegetation
  • Critical area planting
  • Early successional habitat development/management
  • Field borders
  • Filter strips
  • Herbaceous wind barriers
  • Range planting
  • Riparian herbaceous cover
Maximilian’s sunflower

The challenge of living in a harsh, high elevation, semiarid climate and sharing that environment with moose and whitetail deer only strengthened our resolve. With the help of deer-proof fencing, we have been successful in establishing small pollinator communities. Trial and error have provided us with insight into which fencing methods work and which do not as well as which varieties of shrubs and forbs seem to be adapted to our location. Les Gilman and Dave McAdoo are heading up this project. Some of our pollinator successes include:

  • Native Shrubs: Chokecherry, Redosier Dogwood, Golden Currant, Service Berry, Woods Rose, American Plum
  • Introduced Shrubs: Canada Red Chokecherry, Yellow Twig Dogwood, Black Currant
  • Native Forbs: Blanketflower, Wild Beebalm, Blue Flax
  • Introduced Forbs: Small Burnett, Alfalfa, Prairie Coneflower, Birdsfoot trefoil, Cicer milkvetch, Perennial Prairie Sunflower

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