Pollinator Gardens

Why should we care about pollinators?

There are MANY reasons why we should care about pollinators! From food, to health to the overall stability of the planet’s ecosystem, our connections with nature makes all the difference and a pollinator garden is a great place to start. Providing wildflower-rich habitat is the most significant action you can take to support pollinators. Whether you have a few feet on your apartment balcony or several acres to spare, you can make a difference!

Butterfly 1Reasons to care & start your garden:

  • Pollinators pollinate up to a third of our planet’s food.
  • Native bee, honeybee and Monarch butterfly numbers are declining, along with many other insect species.
  • Healthy pollinator populations advance the health of the greater ecosystem by supplying us with food, habitat, and a livable planet.
  • Gardening improves human health-physically, mentally, and spiritually, and can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. (1)
  • Community gardening can lead to environmental resilience. (2)
  • Native pollinator plants are easy to care for and low maintenance once established.
  • Native pollinator gardens provide many survival resources for wildlife: food, breeding, nesting, and overwintering habitat.

Why Choose Native? 

Ok! So, you’re convinced that a pollinator garden is for you! But there are SO MANY plants out there. How do you know what your pollinator friends will like best? Native plants are the way to go!

  • Native plants are adapted to local soil and climates. This means a hardier plant and easier to maintain once established.
  • They provide the best source of nectar and pollen for local native pollinators. Nectar is the primary food source for adult bees, butterflies and more. Pollen is the primary food source collected by bees for their offspring.
  • They serve as host plants for multiple pollinator species. A host plant is like a nursery for pollinators. Eggs are laid on these plants and once they hatch, the plant provides the food source for the larvae.
  • Incorporating native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees into any landscape promotes biological diversity by providing shelter and food for wildlife.Butterfly
  • Once you start learning about native plants, it makes hikes and outdoor adventures more exciting because you can identify wild plants that you may have missed before.  
  • Non-native plants do not support wildlife needs as well as native plants, and they can also be invasive.
  • For a list of native plants, click here.

Now that you are on your way, Sunset Zoo is here to help. Check out Sunset Zoo's full guide on starting your own pollinator garden here. As you develop your garden, share with us all your hard work by posting on social media using #MHKpollinators. Once you have it started, we encourage you to consider certifying your garden with the National Wildlife Federation.