Enlightening and Inspiring Generations with Generations of Ideas

Pollinator Pathways - Plant Your Patch!

Native wildflowers and grasses once made up the largest natural ecosystem in the United States. In Illinois, today, less than 0.01% of the original 21 million acres of prairie remains. The loss of prairie lands has devasted wild pollinators, who depend on pollen and nectar for survival, and we on them for more than 150 U.S. food crops and a host of other benefits.   

Now, with the support of #PlantWildflowers Initiative, the prairie ecosystem is on its way to restoration, one square foot at a time, and we invite you, your family, your friends and colleagues, to be a part of “Pollinator Pathways,” an  important community project. 

Free and open to the public, this project will provide wildflower seeds, especially selected to grow in Illinois.  The seeds will be distributed to volunteers for planting. The planting sites, large and small will create “Pollinator Pathways,” an essential support system to help wild pollinators eat and thrive as they travel from natural areas like state parks, throughvolunteer-planted sites, and then again, into more wild, natural areas, only to, once again, meet the boundaries of towns and industrial areas.

“Pollinator Pathways” also beautify community spaces and backyards. Volunteers receive, information about pollinators and how to protect them, expert advice from the University of Illinois Master Gardener,  details on how to make observations of blooms and pollinators, and details on participation in Summer 2022 BioBlitz Events.  Plant Your Patch! 

Why Support Pollinators?

Pollinators are important to our food supply. In fact, 1 out of every 3 bites of our food wouldn’t be available without wild pollinators. Pollinators are responsible for the survival of plants that bring us fruits, vegetables and nuts, and about half of the world’s oils and fibers. Beyond food crops, other plants spread by pollinators provide both habitat and food for an immense diversity of wildlife, while still leaving enough seeds for the next generation of prairie plant growth. The plants importantly prevent soil erosion, filter water, and keep carbon out of the atmosphere, helping in the fight against climate change.

Get Involved - Plant a Patch! Offer a Site!

Volunteer to plant as an individualin your home window box, container garden, or unused corner of your yard. Plant as a groupon a site where you work, or with family and friendsat a public site designated by the Master Gardener and Library staff. Pollinators typically travel 50 feet up to a half mile to find pollen and nectar. The more patches planted, the more we all will be supporting pollinators. "Pollinator Pathways” needs publicly-accessible sites to both plant and to document later in the summer. These could be empty lots, a small patch at your place of business, in rural landscapes – the possibilities are everywhere.

Educational Resources and Activities

Especially for formal and informal educators and families, “Pollinator Pathways,” offers exceptional free resources from World Wildlife Fund (WWF), as well as additional recommended websites. While much of the focus is on native wild bees and their amazing diversity and solitary lifestyles – some even living in holes in dead trees or underground, pollinators as a group also include butterflies, ants, beetles, many other insects, Hummingbirds, bats and even mammals, who
transport pollen on their fur. The WWF materials and resources are FREE and provide learning for young and old alike. Find out about pollinators and the important role they play in our lives.

What’s Next? Upcoming Events!

The Library will host six events for all ages, from April through August. More details about each event will be available via Library’s social media and website or call the Library at 815-223-2341. 

Let Us Hear from You!

The benefits are many, including community beautification. Whether it is a window box, a small corner at the back of a yard, a rural fence line, a garden bed at a school, a public park, or a field, supporting pollinators is simply “doing good”for yourself, your Earth, the pollinators and your community.

Contact Us - Plant Your Patch!

For more information about “Pollinator Pathways,” contact Donna Blomquist,  Librarian, at dmblomquist@lasalle.lib.il.us or call the LaSalle Public Library at 815-223-2341.  The LaSalle Public Library is located at 305 Marquette, LaSalle, and is ADA compliant and welcoming.