FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 24, 2020
New Pollinator Gardens Planted at “Yes We Can” Community Center
MEDIA CONTACTS: Gordon Tepper, Rebecca Cheng, Matthew Leonenko and Michael Anderson | (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead, NY – Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Council Member Viviana Russell, and the Town Board and proud to announce that North Hempstead has increased its efforts to help monarch butterflies and other pollinators by planting three new pollinator gardens in front of the “Yes We Can” Community Center in New Cassel. Native pollinators like butterflies, bees, hover flies, and beetles play an important role in pollinating a variety of plants in our community. The gardens can be used as an educational tool for children’s programs, allowing them to learn about the monarch life cycle as well as native plant species, and the pollinators and other animals that rely on them.
The gardens were planted in early October with help from the entire “Yes We Can” Community Center staff. The project was led by Town Environmental Specialist Meagan Fastuca and the Town Horticulturist Bonnie Klein. Planting native host and nectar plants for monarchs is one of the actions the Town promised when taking the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, and therefore the gardens are filled with many butterfly milkweed plants. These plants are both a host plant and nectar source for monarchs. Nectar plants like rough goldenrod, joe-pye weed, black-eyed Susan, and blazing star were also planted, which are also good pollen sources for other pollinators like bees. The ornamental grass species little bluestem and switchgrass were planted for beauty, structure, and to provide host plants for many skipper butterfly species.
Although the planting season is over, winter is the perfect time to plan for spring. Planting native plants for pollinators and birds provides food and resources to these animals and can beautify your property. When you choose the right plant for the right place native plants do not need fertilizer or pesticides and many are drought tolerant and do not need supplemental watering once established. The Town does not use any pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides) in its native plant gardens, which can harm pollinators and other beneficial insects, and uses them on a case by case basis in their landscapes. It is important for homeowners to understand that spraying pesticides, especially insecticides, can kill non-target insects like butterflies and bees and harm the entire ecosystem and human health. Some cosmetic damage will not kill the plant and often nature will take care of itself when beneficial insects like lady beetles, mantises, hoverfly larvae, and birds eat pests.
For additional information on the pollinator gardens at “Yes We Can” Community Center, the Town’s native plantings and how to add native plants to your landscape, visit: www.northhempsteadny.gov/sustainability.
The plant bed in front of the community center sign was planted with black-eyed Susan as well as a native blueberry species.
This plant bed has a variety of native flowering plants and grasses. Flowering in the photo are rough goldenrod (yellow) and anise hyssop (purple).