Pollinator Garden & Monarch Waystation

A place to learn and observe

The final frontier of developing the Natural History Institute’s facilities laid on the bare mulched ground just outside the doors of our gallery and lab. Early in 2015, we began actualizing our long-time vision to create a pollinator garden and Monarch Waystation in this area, to serve as a nearby space for spontaneous natural history experiences, ongoing citizen science projects, and for facilitated workshops about plants, insects, animals, and the relationships between them. Additionally, our pollinator garden creates valuable habitat for an imperiled group of insects that in turn keep native plant communities healthy and bring our food plants to bear fruit.

In March and April 2015, we installed our experimental “bee mound” to provide habitat for ground-nesting bees, as are most native bees; as well as sowed seeds of native wildflowers.

In the summer of 2016, all of our milkweed plants re-sprouted and became food for numerous flying insects as well as 10 Monarch caterpillars! The caterpillar’s favorite milkweed species to eat were Horsetail Milkweed (Asclepias suberticillata), Butterfly Milkweed (A. tuberosa), and Showy Milkweed (A. asperula), in that order.

This project was made possible thanks to a generous grant by the Prescott College Sustainability Council, and by donors to our 2014 “Second Spring” fundraising campaign.

 

Pollinator Garden Links

This Google spreadsheet has two tabs, one with a list of plants native to Yavapai County that are beneficial to pollinators, along with their bloom times; and a second that lists plant vendors. Please submit edits, bloom time corrections, and vendor updates to NaturalHistory@prescott.edu

Make Way for Monarchs
Presented by Gary Paul Nabhan at the Natural History Institute on March 5, 2014. YouTube video by Allison Jack.

Pollination Station
The science behind creating and conserving pollinator habitat. Presented by Lisa Zander at the Natural History Institute on March 19, 2015.