Native Pollinator Gardens

Pollinators are a broad group of animals responsible for the pollination of flowers by transporting pollen from one plant to another. This is a critical step in the life cycle of a plant and necessary for the development of many fruits and vegetables. In addition, animal pollinators increase the genetic diversity and general robustness of the crops they pollinate.

The European honey bee, far and away the most commonly used pollinator in agriculture, has been decimated by Colony Collapse Disorder, and as a result it is becoming ever more critical to utilize the hundreds of pollinator species native to the U.S. for agricultural pollination. So how do we help to foster these native populations and bring them near agricultural fields? By building native pollinator gardens. These gardens work by expanding the native habitat of native pollinators while supplying them with food and resources they need. Explore the resources below to learn how and why native pollinator gardens  work to improve native pollinator populations as well as our agricultural system as a whole.

Explore Native Pollinator Gardens

Guides to Our Native Plants and Pollinators

Interested in identifying  native butterflies? Curious to know which plants attract which hummingbirds? Our guides to the native pollinators of Lancaster county and the plants in the Franklin and Marshall gardens are a great place to start. 

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The Importance of Native Pollinators

As honey bee populations are being decimated, it is critical that we turn to our native species of bees, birds, and butterflies to aid in pollinating crops and promoting agricultural productivity.  Read more on the importance of pollinators and native pollinator gardens here.

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How to Cultivate Your Native Pollinator Garden

Interested in helping pollinator populations by growing a native pollinator garden of your own? Here we have included some of our resources on cultivating a robust and healthy native garden to attract a wide variety of pollinators. 

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Pollinator Garden Certification Program

What's the next step after you have cultivated your pollinator haven?  Here we have provided resources on how to certify your pollinator-friendly garden. 

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Bat Protection in Urban Areas

Bat Facts

  • Many bats eat insects. Bats can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour and often consume their body weight in insects every night, helping keep bug populations in check.
  • More than half of the bat species in the United States are in severe decline or listed as endangered.
  • Most bats have only one pup a year, making them extremely vulnerable to extinction.

Learn more fascinating facts about bats.

How to Deal With Bats  

Certain kinds of bats come in contact with humans more then others. Typically house- or building-dwelling bats such as the little brown bat, are the ones that cause problems for humans. The little brown bat usually gives birth in early May to one offspring, who wont be able to fly untill July. Once the baby becomes too heavy for the mother to fly around with, attics often become the  bats new nursery. Attics tend to maintain the desired temperature to raise young, thus making this a desired location in urban areas for mothers to raise their young. This can be dangerous because the residents will not notice the bats for a multitude of years, untill the build up of fecies and urine becomes so high that the home owners will panic and take improper action, hurting the bats. Bats can be prevented from flying into homes on accident and using them as a nursery, by simply closing all small spaces 1/2 inch or larger near the top of homes. This will make a huge difference and will prevent the harm done to bats by humans.

TIPS- How to Deal With Bats in the House
  • If a bat is found flying confused around the house, stand near the wall of the room. This will help prevent the look that the bat is "attacking you" becuase the bats flight slows down in the middle of circular flight around a room.
  • Do not touch the bat with your hands! Simply close off all exits, besides one clear one. 
  • If you suspect that a bad is in hosued in your attic, a "bat watch" just at dusk can reveal  entrances.  Watch closely from before sunset until at least thirty minutes after sunset.
  • Never try and excavate a bat population when the colony is at its hight from May- August. This could disturb the whole population. 
  • Once it is past these months a special excavation tactic can be used called a one-way bat check-valve. This only lets the bats out of the house, but not back in.