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Pollinator-Mobile crew will deliver 11 gardens for bees and butterflies

A gardener plants a pollinator garden outside the Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay in 2019. (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — This summer, AdkAction’s Mobile Pollinator Garden Trailer (affectionately known as the Pollinator-Mobile) will rove the Adirondacks, planting community pollinator gardens and leaving blooms, bees and butterflies in its wake.

Eleven new garden sites in and around the Adirondacks have been chosen to receive gardens as part of AdkAction’s hands-on pollinator conservation efforts. Three of those are in the village of Saranac Lake, one in Vermontville and one on Upper Saranac Lake.

After reviewing a record number of applications, the Adirondack Pollinator Project selected the following sites to receive gardens this summer:

¯ St. Bernard’s Elementary School, Saranac Lake

¯ Triangle Park, Pine and Main streets, Saranac Lake, managed by Saranac Lake Village Improvement Society

A pollinator garden outside the Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay in 2019. (Photo provided)

¯ Urban green space vacant lot on Woodruff Street, Saranac Lake

¯ Upper Saranac Lake northern public boat launch, Saranac Inn, managed by Upper Saranac Foundation

¯ Town of Franklin public park, Vermontville

¯ View Art Center, Old Forge

¯ SUNY Adirondack College Farm, Queensbury

¯ Mountain Lake PBS, Plattsburgh

¯ Public Park Community Garden, Glens Falls

¯ Camp Aldersgate, Brantingham

¯ Elizabethtown (site to be determined).

A pollinator garden is planted mostly with flowers that provide nectar or pollen for a broad range of pollinating insects. Native flowering plants are best, and pesticides and other chemicals are avoided. This year’s pollinator gardens will include bee balm, milkweed, white turtlehead, mountain mint, phlox and other pollinator-friendly pesticide-free native plants.

Schools, libraries, hospitals, municipal parks and other community sites were invited to apply through AdkAction’s Garden Assistance Program.

The pollinator garden in Elizabethtown is funded by Olivia and Victoria, two young pollinator advocates who donated the proceeds of their annual lemonade stand for the past two summers to the Adirondack Pollinator Project. AdkAction will name the Elizabethtown garden after Olivia and Victoria and work with them to choose the location.

Many more students across the region, from pre-kindergarten through college, will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning through the Pollinator Garden Assistance Program, with several of the school, camp, and park locations planning to use their new pollinator gardens for educational purposes.

“Our students will be able to blend their classroom learning with the experiential learning experience of tending and monitoring a pollinator garden,” St. Bernard’s School Principal Andrea Kilbourne-Hill said in a press release. “We are grateful to AdkAction for the opportunity to provide an enriching educational experience while helping to become better stewards of our world.”

This year’s gardens will join 15 sites across the region where the Adirondack Pollinator Project installed community gardens in 2018 and 2019. No gardens were installed in 2020 as the Pollinator Project postponed all volunteer activities due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Adirondack Pollinator Project is a project of the Saranac Lake-based AdkAction in collaboration with The Wild Center, Lake Placid Land Conservancy and Paul Smith’s College. The Mobile Pollinator Garden Trailer is made possible by a generous grant from Flow Hive.

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