Somehow we’ve been led to see the ideal lawn as one resembling a golf course fairway, but that vision does not take into account the needs of pollinators, which in turn help us. Or, as Shari Guarino, Southington Land Trust treasurer, recently put it: “Without pollinators, there’s no food.”
Guarino and others would like us to consider that simple equation concerning food and pollinators when it comes to promoting pollinator pathways, which entail planting pollinator-friendly plants and trees throughout town, which in turn provide food for insects, bats and birds. It also entails avoiding pesticides and thinking small when it comes to lawns. Guarino says every year her lawn gets smaller as the flower beds get larger.
Like so many endeavors over the past few months, the effort to start a townwide pollinator push earlier this year was stymied by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The plan was to plant near the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, but the rollout did not take place.
The plants are still around, as well as the trees and bushes, at Guarino’s house, and there’s hope of holding a smaller-sized event. Guarino has the town’s OK to plant near the trail north of the Milldale Station.
Guarino is also selling signs to residents who come on board that they can use to signify that their property is a pollinator pathway.
It would be nice to see the effort take hold, and have pollinator pathways stretch from one end of town to the other. The steps are not complicated, and involve planting native plants, not using pesticide and taking another look at what makes a great lawn.
And though this particular effort involves Southington the general idea applies everywhere. Helping bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other wildlife is a way of helping us as well. As we like to say, we’re all in this together.