Pollinator Garden at the Gardiner Library
By Angela Sisson
From Issue 52: Winter 2022
The Wallkill Valley Pollinator Pathway has teamed up with the Gardiner Library to create a pollinator garden behind the library, next to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail (WVRT). The garden will provide valuable habitat for pollinators along the rail trail wildlife corridor. The Gardiner Library Pollinator Garden will be a stepping stone for pollinators using the rail trail as their pathway, and part of a larger effort to encourage more pollinator plantings along the WVRT.
The first step of the garden project was completed in November 2021 by a group of volunteers. Members of the pollinator committee stapled a sheet of black plastic on the lawn to smother a 500 square feet area in preparation for the new garden. In Spring 2022, the plastic will be removed and native seedlings (or landscape plugs) will be planted directly into the dead lawn turf. Over the first growing season, the small plants in the new garden will need to be weeded and watered on a regular basis. By the following year, the plants will grow to fill up the bare space, covering the ground like a living “mulch” preventing weeds from taking hold. Also, by the second year, the root systems will have established and watering can be eliminated. Thereafter, the garden should require virtually no watering and minimal weeding.
Once the plants establish and begin to flower, the pollinator garden will start to attract butterflies and bees, moths, and beetles. From the earliest wildflowers blooming in April to the asters of November, Library visitors will enjoy a long seasonal display of flowering plants as well as the birds and bees that will be foraging for food and habitat. Over the winter months, the standing dead plants will provide a home to overwintering pollinator larvae and cocoons and also attract birds foraging for seeds and overwintering insects.
Volunteers are needed to help with the pollinator garden. They will learn how to plant and maintain the garden from ecological landscapers who are overseeing the project. If you would like to volunteer with the Gardiner Library Pollinator Garden, contact Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org or Angela at email@example.com. To learn more about pollinator gardens and pollinator pathways, visit: pollinator-pathway.org and wallkillvalleylt.org/pp and join the pathway at: wallkillvalleylt.org/pp/join-pollinator-pathway.