Sat, April 20, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
John Zon Community Center, 35 Pleasant St, Greenfield, MA
Greening Greenfield has invited Tom Sullivan, owner of PollinatorsWelcome.com to share stories of his recent trip to Ireland where he met with folks implementing Ireland’s country-wide pollinator plan. This trip has inspired his vision of a pollinator corridor in Greenfield that would link the new pollinator garden he co-designed with Nancee Bershof at the Zon Community Center with the gardens at the Energy Park.
“Ireland was beautiful in many shades of green, including real work being done to save biodiversity on the island. My traveling companion, Peggy MacLeod, and I, made friends with and presented our work to the folks at the National Biodiversity Data Center whose international conference we attended!” says Sullivan of PollinatorsWelcome.com. “Ireland has 99 native bee species where Massachusetts has nearly 400 native pollinators that need food and shelter to thrive – and we can build that for them and beautify Greenfield!”
Sullivan’s grandmother got him hooked on protecting bees when she explained that bees did not intend to hurt him, after he got stung when diving into a bush chasing a ball. He then passed on those comforting words to his 4-year-old sister when she stepped on a bee.
But it was not until 2008, after graduating from the Conway School of Landscape Design, that he learned about the thousands of native pollinators around the world. Today building habitat for them is his passion.
Sullivan sees streetscapes, roadsides and tree belts as perfect places to build pollinator habitat, because they are readily accessible, can beautify urban environments, and provide rich resources for our pollinating insects and birds.
A Pollinator Corridor for Greenfield? Is the second event in a campaign that Greening Greenfield (GG) launched last month called Planting for Pollinators! Let’s build biodiversity and beauty in Greenfield. Over 80 people attended the first event that examined why our pollinators are in trouble, by looking at Rachel Carson’s work in documenting the effect of toxins in our environment on all living things. Einstein famously said that “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.”
“It is important that we build pollinator habitats right,” said Nancy Patteson, member of Greening Greenfield’s pollinator campaign team. “Too often consumers do not know that many of the trees, shrubs, and flowers for sale are treated with or planted in soil with a toxin called neoniconoids, which can kill the very insects we want to feed. We’ve made a handout called Neonics – Ask Before you Buy, to encourage people to find plants for their yards that are pollinator-friendly.”
At this fun family event, Tom will show slides of his trip to Ireland. This will be followed by guided tours of the potential pollinator corridor and the garden at the Zon Community center. After the Tours, free wildflower seeds and snacks will be available along with many resources and a door prize of a Mason Bee nesting kit that Sullivan donated.
GG’s campaign Planting for Pollinators! Let’s build biodiversity and beauty in Greenfield will include speakers, opportunities to get your hands dirty, and information posted on its web site. GG’s campaign is part of the Western Massachusetts Pollinator Networks. For more information call 774-5667.