Replanting for Pollinators
This summer, the Sustainability Office works replaced grass with pollinator friendly plants to promote pollinators on campus. Below is information on the types of vegetation planted and where!
There are two spots on campus that are newly planted: the slope at the southeast corner of Olin Rice and across Macalester St. from the theater building construction site. After learning that the newly endangered rusty-patched bumble bee has historical habitat in this area, Suzanne Hansen reached out to Jerry Nelson, grounds manager in Facilities Services, to see if the Sustainability Office could partner with Facilities on a project. Jerry was already planning to make changes to the slope (which was just grass), so the Office provided a list of plants that are known to provide some benefit to this species. As it turns out, there is a large overlap between plants that are generally pollinator friendly and plants that are rusty-patched bumble bee friendly. This site was replanted in August with several species, including bee balm, hyssop, and prairie clover.
The second site was also completed in August, although it has a longer history. Several years ago, Zoe Hastings, a student worker in Facilities, planted a bunch of native species at the site as an independent project. Unfortunately, Facilities was unable to maintain the site, and, over the past few years, the site has become overgrown. The project for student workers this summer was to do some serious weeding, identify existing plants that should stay, and fill in open spaces with pollinator friendly varieties such as Joe-pye weed, coneflower, and bee balm. Hopefully both of these sites will do well over the winter and can be added to the pollinator path next summer.