Skiles Test Park | Rob Slaven

As I walked Skiles Test Park with my dogs in early summer, we got to the pollinator field and saw something amazing. In this era of insect population declines we saw an abundance of birds, dragonflies, bees, moths, and most impressively, butterflies.

I’ve been thinking a lot about bee colony collapse disorder, and reading that bee keepers can’t keep their bees either, that even in these nurturing settings such as professional beekeeping, the bees continue to die at alarming rates. I’ve wanted to have bees, but I’ve worried it’s a money pit that ends up being bad for the bees too.

Recently, I read that backyard breeders of monarch butterflies are helping populations yes, but that these backyard monarchs won’t make the migration that wild monarchs do, and that they are also smaller.

This got me thinking that Mother Nature has the answers. We humans don’t need to be the middle man. We can just plant native pollinators, return portions of our lawns to nature, and she will do the rest.

Then I walked around my neighborhood with just a fraction of families who are first generation to when these homes were built. I noticed that a lot of the old ladies of the neighborhood have thought about this too. There are several homes that have tall, native plants and pollinator gardens at the end of their driveway or at the corner of an intersection. Brilliant, functional and beautiful!

I have several areas in my yard that will be perfect for such a garden. I intend to plant in spring 2020, and I will update this post and future posts with my progress. I know my neighbors spray for mosquitoes, so I hope this effort isn’t in vain, but who knows, maybe I’ll convince them one day that bats are more appropriate mosquito hunters than spraying pesticides are.

Here’s some links for resources on planting Indiana Native plants:

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