Butterfly Landing at Pine Point: protected pollinator sanctuary and citizen science project

The new butterfly sanctuary is a group effort. In 2018, Pollinator Friendly Alliance with the Xerces Society citizen science pollinator count protocol, began counting pollinators on the 14 acre native grass and wildflower area. Based on our counts, we knew we needed to amp up the nectar flowers. Wildflowers specifically for at-risk pollinator species were low.

Pollinator Friendly Alliance put the word out to build a sanctuary for butterflies. And look who came on October 13, 2018…kids and adults from LUSH Cosmetics, Girl Scouts, Washington Conservation District, Sencha Tea Bar, Wild Ones Savannah, Washington County Parks, Monarch Joint Venture, Girl Scouts and more. Seventy five volunteers, partners and friends showed up in force to plant nectar and host plants.

We used weed suppression mats from Mat, Inc. in Duluth. The native wildflower plants were grown for us by Minnesota Native Landscapes. Lupine, Blazing Star, Flox, and Butterfly Weed species were chosen for at-risk species: Karner blue butterfly, Monach butterfly, Flox moth, and Rusty patched bumble bee.

In January, we’ll be back for a snowshoe with bonfire, hot cocoa and native wildflower seeds. Stay tuned for this event.

We can’t wait until next summer to see all the flowers and pollinators!