We had so much fun working on our project! We took a patch of land running along our back farm fence in our alleyway and removed invasive species plants like Scotch Broom, Bindweed and Himalayan Blackberry and replaced them with native plants (Salal, Mullein and Kinnickinnick) as well as annuals (Sunflowers, Rudbeckia, and Calendula). We were surprised by how much small garbage we found while cleaning – candy bar wrappers, cigarette butts, plastic garbage bag pieces and small bits of metal and glass. It felt great to reclaim this space for pollinators!
We saw a huge increase in the number of pollinators in our far field and look forward to even more next summer as we hope to further expand on this project. A local artist, Miss Bumble, also designed us two gorgeous big bees that we have printed copies of and hung on our fence too. We will incorporate them into the future signage as well.
We were challenged with a massive ants nest in the area we were restoring. It was hidden by invasive plants. It was a challenge to be very careful not to disturb this colony. Ants are a very important part of the insect world and also contribute to pollinating.
Thank you for offering this funding. We were able to accomplish so much with what we were given – we focused on buying and planting the new plants and seeds and the removal of the invasive species and human caused disruption (garbage and soil erosion due to car tires). We look forward to completing the project in future by incorporating signage on the fence detailing the importance of these efforts. This signage for the alley fence describing the importance of pollinators in our gardens will hopefully come to you in a future application for another round of this grant if available in the new year.