butterfly pollinating a flower

Our pollinator garden displays many different annual and perennial plants that attract a variety of pollinators in our area.  Pollinators are an essential part of any ecosystem. Animals and insects that transfer pollen between plants help ensure fertilization, and therefore the continuation of the plant species. In addition, pollinators that transfer pollen from many different communities of plants help propagate genetic variety within the plant species. This genetic variation is essential for plant species to have viable and sustainable futures.  Pollinators are on the decline, and many populations are critically threatened. For the continued health of our ecosystems, our agriculture, and our livelihoods, we must protect and cultivate pollinators.

Butterflies need food, sunlight, water, roosting spots, and host plants for their various stages of life. For food sources, butterflies like bright flowers with plenty of nectar. Colors such as red and purple are especially attractive to butterflies. Caterpillars like many different plants, but especially like those within the mustard and cabbage families. Some species of caterpillars will only live on and eat one species of plant, such as monarch butterfly caterpillars and milkweed. Bees like white, yellow, and blue. Hummingbirds like deep tubular flowers and flowers with red, orange, and white coloration. Birds need berries and seeds, as well as safe places to bear young.