Pollinator Friendly Alliance Calendar

9/28/19: National Park Lands Day: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM - Pollinator Park at Mulberry Creek, 523 Owens Street North, Stillwater with Minnesota Master Naturalists and Pollinator Friendly Alliance. NPLD is an annual volunteer effort to celebrate the connection between people and green spaces in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education and health. Join us at the pollinator park to steward the land, tend the gardens and be a part of the “green” community. Mini garden and pollinator talks, refreshments and gardening. Sign up with Minnesota Master Naturalist here, or call 888-241-4532 or just show up.

11/2/2019: Citizen Science Pollinator Count: Noon to 3:00 PM at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, 10191 St. Croix Trail South, Hastings. Citizen Scientists alongside entomologists and naturalists, observe and count insects for beetle bank research study on beneficial insects AND check and count native wild bees that have tucked in to overwinter in the wild bee huts along the St. Croix Regional Park research study area. Interesting mini talks on native wild bees, fun learning for all ages, treats for all. Bee a citizen scientist. Qualifies for field research time. In partnership with Washington County Parks, University of Minnesota and Washington County Conservation District. Register here.

March, 2020: BEST PRACTICES FOR POLLINATORS Summit. PFA’s popular day long summit. Land managers, naturalists and conservationists learn ecologically sound land management practices for pollinators. Practical boots on the ground from the experts. Stay tuned for more information.

Butterfly Landing at Pine Point Park, 2018-2020

BUTTERFLY LANDING sits on the northeast end of Pine Point Regional Park, a 296 acre park in Washington County that draws 82,000 visitors per year. Situated at the northernmost part of the Gateway Trail, the area is diverse with forests, wetlands, and prairies. In 2004, Washington County Parks seeded 14 acres of old agricultural land from corn crops to prairie grasses and wildflowers.

IN 2018, Pollinator Friendly Alliance collaborated with Washington County Parks to create a 14 acre pollinator sanctuary protected from pesticide drift and right in the middle of at-risk species territory. This prairie enhancement includes habitat diverse in flowering species for a wide-range of pollinators to provide pollen and nectar sources from spring to fall, and nesting sites throughout the winter.

SUMMER, 2018: Citizen Science Counts began. Butterfly Landing also serves as an ecology education demonstration and field study area. A multi-year citizen science pollinator count collects floral visitors with an emphasis on the Karner blue butterfly, Monarch butterfly and Rusty patched bumble bee. 

OCTOBER, 2019, volunteers planted over 2,000 plugs in a weed suppression mat: Showy Goldenrod, Stiff Goldenrod, Common Milkweed, Butterfly Milkweed, New England Aster, Prairie Coreopsis, Fireweed, Giant Anise Hyssop, Monarda, Wild Lupine Perennis (for Karner Blue Butterfly)

JANUARY, 2019 volunteers came back to winter seed over the snow. It was a chilly day, nevertheless pollinator friends spread seed and drank hot cocoa by the fire: Liatrus, Native Lupine Perennis, Giant Hyssop, Milkweed, Fireweed, Prairie Coreopsis, Wild Lupine, Stiff Goldenrod, Prairie Violet, Butterfly Weed, and Prairie Flox.

OCTOBER 2020, Washington County Parks install interpretative signage and 100’s of liatrus blazing star nearby.

Pollinators Landing at Mulberry Creek, 2016-2019

2015, ground breaking with the removal of existing turf and installation of the newly seeded bee lawn and 100's of flower plugs in the flower garden at the historic pumphouse site, 523 Owens Street, Laurel & Owens, Stillwater.  Thanks to community volunteers: Bee lawn: self heal, creeping fescue, dutch white clover, creeping thyme; Flower garden: wild bergamot/bee balm, rough blazingstar, yellow headed coneflower, joe pye weed, compass plant, oxe-eye, new england aster, fragrant hyssop, heart leaf golden alexander, meadow rue, butterfly weed, creeping sedum, prairie smoke, penstemon, marsh milkweek, common ironweed, purple coneflower, meadow blazing star.

2016, work began on restoration of the slope along Mulberry Creek Trail behind the pumphouse. Tall and woody plants were cut, then scalped,  a controlled burn followed  by spot spray of white vinegar to remove invasives. Hundreds of flower plugs were planted by volunteers including bluestem, common milkweed, wild bergamont, stiff goldenrod, asters, pioneer mix, dotted blazingstar, foxglove beardtongue, switch grass, smooth wild rose, flodman's thistle, golden alexander.

2017, turf was removed for the upper prairie and the first wildflower seeding of the prairie including little bluestem, june grass, blue gama, canada wild rye, butterfly weed, leadplant, purple prairie clover, black-eyed susan, hoary vervain, common ox-eye, dotted blazing star, stiff goldenrod, golden alexander, common milkweed, wild bergamot, showy goldenrod, canada tick trefoil, gray goldenrod, canada milk vetch, blue vervain, yarrow, prairie rose, western spiderwort.  Three Serviceberry trees were added to the bee lawn.

2018, the lower area was covered with a thick black plastic to smother the existing vegetation in preparation for the second prairie. No chemicals or herbicides are used with the smother method. Buckwheat was seeded in June and flowered in late August. The buckwheat cover crop rejuvenates the soil in preparation for the October native prairie seeding. The bee lawn was augmented with compost treatments to enrich the soil to support other low flowerings plants such as self heal and creeping thyme and three more Serviceberry trees were added. The upper prairie was planted on May 19th and is blooming.  Some of the plant species need to set over a winter and will bloom the second or third year.  The first year requires more tending than the following years in the life of a prairie. There was a fair amount of maintenance required to keep the trees, ragweed and foxtail in check. But the prairie wildflowers and grasses came up in good shape.  

2019, the bee lawn was augmented with a thick coat of compost and reseeded with more fine fescue and dutch white clover. This made a huge difference in the health and look of the grasses and low growing flowers such as creeping thyme and self heal. Two native bee houses were added to the flower garden. The slope is showing lots of milkweed after a milkweed seeding extravaganza last fall.