The Pollinator Demonstration Garden is coming together, thanks to our great volunteers!!

We had our second volunteer day on May 18, 2024 with 18 people coming out to help us weed, plant new native plants and water everything in. This was a much nicer day than our first volunteer day which had snow blowing sideways through most of the day. Randall Ryti, one of our council members, showed up again and stayed for the entire day. Angela Prada, from the Extension Office, was also there. We also had KokHeong McNaughton, Barbara Mann, and some wonderful new people interested in helping our native pollinators out by creating habitat and planting native perennials and annuals to provide nectar and pollen resources. As you can see in this photo, everyone really got into it. There was a lot of weeding, planting and watering going on! We finished in record time. As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work”.

The area we are working in now is the first of what we hope will grow into the entire area on this side of the sidewalk, next to the Senior Center and behind the Cooperative Office. Our current plan spans over 5 years. For the first year, we are working on creating a perennial garden with native plants that will work well in home gardens and municipal landscapes. The area closest to the sidewalk will have native Penstemons, Asters, Monarda, Prairie Coneflower and much more. The middle area is devoted to wildflowers like Maximilian’s Sunflower, Lupine, Bee Balm and other wonderful, wilder flowering plants.

On June 29th we will host another volunteer day from 8-11am to plant the area next to the fence with native shrubs like New Mexico Olive, Mountain Mahogany, Gambel Oak, Fendler’s Cliffbush and Fernbush. These plants provide either nesting materials, pollen, nectar, refuge, seeds for birds, nesting sites, and/or larval resources.

Volunteers have been showing up, faithfully, every day to hand water the plants through this first summer. Within 2 years, the plants should be able to survive on their own with minimal water and care. The area is inundated with Bindweed, however, and we would be very happy to have volunteers who would consistently weed that out. Email me at: coordinator if this is something you would be interested in doing. I will meet you on-site to show you which plant is Bindweed (and a few other weeds) and how to weed them out.

An exciting development this week is that the wildflower mix we sowed in April (Plants of the Southwest High Desert mix) has started to germinate! We have Lupine, Phacelia and some other, as of yet, unidentified wildflowers growing. Almost all of the plants have done great, even in this exceedingly hot weather (thanks in large part to our volunteer waterers!). A few things that were transplanted from the Unitarian Church (thanks KokHeong and Barbara) didn’t survive the stress of moving, but we are thrilled with the survival rate of the majority of plants. This round of perennials was generously donated by Plants of the Southwest in Santa Fe.

If you are interested in volunteering to water, weed, or monitor the area please reach out to me at:

Here are some of the little plants, doing their thing. Yay!

1 thought on “The Pollinator Demonstration Garden is coming together, thanks to our great volunteers!!”

  1. Thank you very much for the wonderful update and pictures.
    One of the things I would like to suggest is residents can try also another is crucial easy way for pollinators to provide moisture ,besides planting plants.
    The butterflies need moisture and minerals. I have at my garden have puddling area and is easy to do. Ingredients sand, compost , little sea salt. and water to make it moist. It can be done in the ground or in a shallow dish.
    Also for bees just to provide in a shallow dish some gravel and add little water.
    If anybody interested I can write up a small article.
    Thank you

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