Minneapolis Convention Center plants pollinator garden

The Minneapolis Convention Center celebrated National Pollinator Week last week with the completion of a pollinator garden on the center’s grounds. The garden creates a landscape that helps preserve bees, butterflies and other essential pollinators. The garden is planted on the east side of the center, visible from the street or sidewalk along Third Avenue. Signs along the sidewalk will help educate the public about the garden and its benefits.

The pollinator garden includes two dozen types of shrubs, flowers and grasses, featuring plants native to the area. In addition to supporting pollinator species, the use of native plants in the garden has other environmental benefits. They require less irrigation and maintenance, and are naturally pest tolerant or resistant.

The U.S. Senate has designated a week in June each year as National Pollinator Week as a step toward raising awareness and addressing the serious issue of declining pollinator populations. In the nine years since Pollinator Week was created, it has grown into an international celebration. Pollinators are a necessary component of a healthy ecosystem and food system, providing pollination of plants needed to grow vegetables, herbs and fruits.

The City passed a resolution in 2015 committing the City to more pollinator-friendly practices and encouraging property owners to do the same. The resolution created the Conservation of Minneapolis Bees Project, which includes a website on how to create pollinator habitat and follow pollinator friendly practices. That means avoiding pesticides that poison bees and butterflies, whether by applying pesticides or planting flowering plants that had been treated before purchase. It also means landscaping or gardening with the kinds of plants that nourish them.

Alongside the new pollinator garden, the City is transforming Third Avenue to create better facilities for biking and walking. The project will add a protected bike lane to the avenue, which is a major north/south street, in addition to enhancing the pedestrian experience with more greenery. Construction is under way now and the majority of work will be completed this year.

 

Published Jun 28, 2016

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