PEEC & Bee City Los Alamos Launches the Backyard Pollinator Project

Penstemon strictus/Rocky Mt. Penstemon growing in White Rock | Photo by Dana Ecelberger

Bee City Los Alamos, an affiliate of the Xerces Society, in collaboration with the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), is thrilled to announce the launch of the Backyard Pollinator Garden Project! This exciting new initiative, funded by a grant from the Carroll Petrie Foundation, will provide a selection of native plants to Los Alamos County residents free of charge. These plants, grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers, have been carefully selected for their hardiness in the Jemez Mountain environment and their crucial benefits to native pollinators.

Applicants will be notified by June 30th, whether or not they will be receiving plants. Applying does not guarantee you will receive plants. We are looking for maximum connectivity of habitat and pollinator resources and we only have 40 kits available this year, but we have funding for this project for 3 years. Applicants who don’t get a kit this year will be placed on a waiting list for next year.

By encouraging the planting of native pollinator plants in private home gardens & public landscapes, we intend to expand the diversity and number of pollen, nectar and habitat resources for our native pollinators, and to increase connectivity of those resources. Native pollinators, unlike the European and Asian honeybees, are threatened by loss of habitat, pesticide use and climate change. Bee City Los Alamos is committed to doing everything we can to help our native pollinators, and the plants they rely on, thrive in our communities.

Plants will be awarded based on the connectivity of pollinator resources, meaning we’ll be clustering applicants to distribute plants effectively. We encourage you to chat with your neighbors because collaboration could increase your chances of receiving plants next year.

Due to an overwhelming response, we have closed the application for this year. If you aren’t selected to receive plants this year, don’t worry! You’re invited to pick up a package containing 3 native perennials, a packet of wildflower seeds, and a habitat monitoring folder. You can swing by the PEEC Nature Center on July 19th from 4-6 PM or July 20th from 9-11 AM to collect your goodies.

For more information about the plants and the program, click HERE

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