History of Northampton's Pollinator Pathway
An urban pollinator pathway began in the central core of the City. Volunteers have been weeding and maintaining the bioswale (rain garden) at Pulaski Park, the initial and most central installation.
Installation: In November 2018, with pro-bono design assistance and preparation from Owen Wormser of Local Harmony, 25 volunteers added about 150 pollinator friendly plants to the Pulaski Park bioswale. The tiny plugs have grown into a beautiful central city meadow which is buzzing with pollinator activity for three seasons.
Around the corner on Crafts Avenue, volunteers transformed a very steep slope with 450 meadow type native plant plugs that are now fully grown, making this hard-to-mow slope into a bee-friendly meadow. 2021: Owen is working with the City which has offered to dedicate resources to complete the other ⅔ of the slope.
In September 2019 volunteers designed and installed gardens at both the Senior Center and Forbes Library, thus growing the list of anchor plantings.
Three garden plots at the Northampton Community Gardens were donated to WMPN and bee researcher, Dr. Rob Gegear of UMASS Dartmouth, and are being prepared to grow perennial seedlings preferred by at-risk bees for this area and for Dr. Gegear to conduct bumblebee studies.
In every planting, volunteers learn about pollinator-friendly landscaping, how to maintain the plantings during the growing season, and become a part of regenerating the urban pollinator habitat that has eroded over decades through our built environment.