Westmoreland Pollinator Partners Host Pollinator Palooza Garden Tours Starting May 21; Bring Your ‘Passports’ & Cameras, Get A Free Native Plant

The Westmoreland Pollinator Partners, an association of public pollinator-friendly gardens across Westmoreland County, are inviting residents to visit this season, and bring your “passports” and cameras along. 

This season a total of 21 gardens will participate. 

Just pick up a passport folder at the Ligonier Country Market special feature booth on the May 21 kickoff day, or June 25, August 13 or September 17.

Visit the six gardens of your choice, and return to the special feature booth with your passport (stickered) or with photos documenting your visits, to receive a free native plant especially chosen to appeal to local pollinator species. 

Anyone also photographing a native plant in a WPP garden will receive an additional native plant while supplies last.

As interest grows in preserving habitat for pollinator insects and other wildlife that is key to having a healthy ecosystem, new gardens have joined the WPP.

 Now there are 24 organizations, parks, libraries, museums, schools, public demo gardens, and companies joining the effort to raise awareness for insects and native plants that are essential to our way of life. 

The WPP is a force for cultivating and conserving pollinator-friendly habitats and engaging with the people of Westmoreland County on their behalf.

“Pollinators provide a valuable service to humans,” explained Andrea Kautz, entomologist with Powdermill Nature Reserve, a WPP member.  “Without them, we wouldn't have access to most of the fruits and vegetables we enjoy every day.  Native pollinators and native plants rely on each other to thrive, and together contribute to the biodiversity of our region."

Mary Kaufman, program director at Mount Pleasant Township's Laurelville Retreat Center, a new member of WPP, is enthusiastic about the potential outreach of the gardens. 

“A benefit of these quiet gardens is to introduce people to the important principles of living in harmony with, and appreciation for nature,” she emphasized.  “You will see small, intensively planted native perennial gardens and large meadows that are full of color to attract many different species of insects and birds.  And native plants are specially adapted to our region so they need less maintenance.  Most people agree that all are beautiful.”

24 Pollinator Gardens

The twenty-four WPP pollinator-friendly gardens are--

-- Ligonier Community Garden Insectary Borders

-- Ligonier Country Market Garden

-- Loyalhanna Watershed Association Farm and Wetland Gardens

-- Ligonier Valley YMCA Garden

-- Ligonier Middle School’s Sustainable Farm Project’s Insectary Border

-- Powdermill Nature Reserve Gardens

-- Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art Ligonier Gardens

-- DCNR Forbes State Forest Meadow

-- DCNR Keystone State Park Meadow

-- Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve Garden

-- Westmoreland Land Trust / Westmoreland County Park and Recreation Twin Lakes Meadow

-- Historic Hanna’s Town Gardens

-- Greensburg Garden Center Lefevre Butterfly Garden

-- Penn State Master Gardener Donohoe Center Demonstration Gardens

-- Westmoreland Conservation District Meadow

-- Westmoreland Museum of American Art Garden

-- Amos K Hutchinson Elementary School Garden

-- West Penn Power Garden

-- Mount Pleasant Public Library Story Garden

-- West Overton Village and Museum Gardens

-- Smithton Borough Garden

-- Laurelville Retreat Center Gardens

-- The Pollinator Garden of Penguin Court/Brandywine Conservancy.

The passport program was launched in 2019.  During the pandemic, most of the gardens remained open (to insects, birds and visitors), but the passports were put on hold. 

Visit the Westmoreland Pollinator Partners Facebook page for locations and highlights.


-- Celebrate First Ever Pennsylvania Native Species Day June 17

-- Pollinator Partnership Celebrates Pollinator Week June 20 - 26

Resource Links - Native Plants:

-- Pollinator Gardens: Help Encourage Ecological Diversity In Your Own Backyard [Videos]

-- Gardening For Butterflies: Penn State Extension

-- Planting For Pollinators: Penn State Extension

-- Penn State Extension Master Gardeners

-- Penn State Pollinator Garden Certification

Related Articles:

-- DCNR Blog: Bring Life To Your Yard With Native Plants - Start With These; Garden Templates; Where To Buy

-- DCNR Blog: Growing Native Plants To Thwart Invasive Species

-- DCNR Blog: Good Weeds (Native Plants)

-- PennDOT: Adopt And Beautify - Keystone Pollinator Habitat

Related Article This Week:

-- North Penn Water Authority, Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy Hold May 20 Groundbreaking, May 21 Planting Day For Rain Garden Project In Skippack Twp., Montgomery County

[Posted: May 12, 2022]


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