Andover Pollinator Awareness Project
The City of Andover established this group in 2015 with an overall goal of working to protect pollinators. The recent decline in pollinators due to factors including habitat loss, disease, parasites and pesticides has spurred this group's creation. Some activities occuring include but are not limited to the following:
- Educate residents on steps they can take to become pollinator friendly (click HERE to read U of M Master Gardener Kim Billings' "10 things you can do");
- Became a "Bee-safe" community;
- The Mayor signed an official proclamation. Click HEREto see it!
- Coordinate and promote landscaping projects that feature alternative, low-maintenance plants that save water, improve water quality and benefit local wildlife, including pollinators;
- Host an annual garden tour featuring landscapes that are pollinator-friendly;
- Work with local beekeepers to install beehives to promote pollinators.
For four consecutive years, residents have had an opportunity to visit properties that have pollinator-friendly landscapes. Folks were on hand at each address to answer any questions visitors had. The tour allows residents to learn how, why and what types of landscapes and plants benefit our pollinators and other wildlife, are aesthetically appealing and help to improve storm-water quality and save groundwater.
Overall, the tours have been a success! We've had hundreds of visitors to the sites and have even involved neighboring communities, including Anoka and Ramsey. The next one is scheduled for July 20.
The following are some upcoming events/activities the group plans on working on:
- Environmental Fun Fair: 10 am-2 pm--Saturday, May 4th at Springbrook Nature Center in Spring Lake Park: this free, fun event will showcase environmental educators, informational booths, interpretive trail walks, presentations and hands on activities for the kids!
- Native Plant Sale: 9-noon--Saturday, June 1st, at Andover City Hall: Vendors will be on hand to sell indigenous plant material to residents, including beautiful wildflowers.
- Pollinator-Friendly Garden Tour: 9 am-1 pm--Saturday, July 20th: this is the fifth edition of this popular tour! Residents can view examples of landscapes that are easy on the environment and benefit pollinators. Map showing locations of gardens is forthcoming.
- Planting Projects: the City will continue to create and enhance landscapes to make them "pollinator friendly."
Stay tuned, as this site will continue to be updated.