On June 23, 2020 the SUNY Potsdam Child Care Center hosted a special event coordinated by the Campus Biology Department's WISER Center and the Local Living Venture. Along with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, they are partners in a free, wildflower seed distribution program called "Pollinator Pals".
These native seeds have adapted to thrive in their own environment without pesticides or fertilizer and require little maintenance. They also use less water than other plants. Pollinator gardens help promote and maintain local bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. They provide nutrients and a habitat essential to pollinators ensuring that they will continue to thrive in St. Lawrence County, pollinating local crops while establishing biodiversity and thus, improving ecosystem health.
This new garden is an important addition to the SUNY Potsdam Child Care Center as a natural, outdoor learning space. It has created a child-friendly, interactive, educational area that will be well tended and enjoyed for years to come.
In addition to the garden, Dr. Rob Ewy and his daughters, Kate and Emily, formerly enrolled in the childcare program, have donated their time and materials to construct a willow hut that will be completed this August. Some tomato plants and strawberry plants were given some space as well as a few sensory-rich herbs for future exploration.
Details on the wildflower program can be found at the website bit.ly/PollinatorProgram for those interested.
photo credit: Emily Gerber, Nature Up North - for "Plugging the Spots" and "Leaf Mulch"