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0401 Castle Creek Road
Aspen, CO 81611
Pollinators play an important role in our ecosystem by transferring pollen from one flower to another. This enables the plants to produce fruits, seeds and new generations of plants. Without pollinators, many of the foods we enjoy, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and chocolate, would not exist. Pollinators also help to maintain diversity in our ecosystems. They facilitate the reproduction of plants, which provide food and habitats for other animals.
This can be a fun and rewarding activity for kids! Here are some suggestions to make your garden more welcoming to pollinators:
Different pollinators are attracted to different types of flowers, so plant a range of shapes, colors and sizes. Aim for a mix of native and non-native species that are well-suited to your local climate, such as blanketflowers, coneflowers, salvia, milkweed and asters.
Many pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and moths, need a place to lay their eggs and raise their young. Create nesting sites by leaving dead wood, providing bare patches of soil, and hanging up bee hotels or butterfly houses.
Pesticides can harm or kill pollinators, so use natural pest control methods instead. Encourage beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings and hoverflies, which eat pests.
Pollinators need water to drink and bathe in, so place a shallow dish or birdbath in your garden and add some stones, sticks or marbles so that the pollinators have somewhere to stand and sip the water. Be sure to keep the water clean and change it frequently.
Resist the urge to tidy up your garden too much. Pollinators need places to hide and overwinter, so leave some leaf litter, and allow some plants to go to seed.
Creating a pollinator-friendly garden is a great way to help these important creatures thrive while teaching kids about the wonders of nature.
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