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Pollinator Gardens

What's a Pollinator Garden?

A pollinator garden is an area that is planted to support and maintain pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds, to name a few.
bee and butterfly on a purple coneflower

Why are Pollinators so important?

"Insect pollinators play key ecological, economic, and cultural roles: they pollinate crops and wild plants, provide pest control services, feed vertebrates like bats and birds, and form an important cultural link between humans and nature. Yet, insect pollinators have experienced widespread declines in recent years. The culprit? The interacting effects of habitat loss, pesticides, climate change, exotic species and disease."
- Tufts Pollinator Initiative

Click here to see a list of invasive plants that are threatening pollinators. 



1.  PLANT what the insect pollinators need to thrive!

A Pledge taken.

The Lungo-Koehn administration has taken several steps toward supporting pollinators throughout the community. The Mayor's decision to sign on to the National Wildlife Federation's Mayor's Monarch Pledge demonstrates the proactive approach the City has taken to ensuring that the health of important pollinators like butterflies and bees.

Planting native pollinators is a crucial step in helping to conserve and protect these insects. Native plants provide essential food sources and habitats for local pollinator populations, contributing to their survival and overall ecosystem health.

The involvement of the Tufts Pollinator Initiative (TPI) and dedicated volunteers in creating and executing a planting plan for City Hall's first pollinator garden is fantastic. Collaborations like this are instrumental in ensuring the success of such initiatives. The expertise and guidance of organizations like TPI can greatly enhance the effectiveness of pollinator conservation efforts.

The establishment of a pollinator garden at City Hall not only adds beauty to the surroundings but also serves as a model for community members and visitors to learn about the importance of pollinators and how they can contribute to their preservation.

Planting a community pollinator garden

Thank you to those who helped plant the garden!  Special thanks to the DPW, Kim DeAndrade from the Mystic Charles Pollinator Pathways Group and Amanda Bowen from the Medford Community Garden Commission for helping us layout and install all 85 plants! 


TPI Logo


2.  REMOVE Invasive Plants!

"An invasive species is an introduced, nonnative organism (disease, parasite, plant, or animal) that begins to spread or expand its range from the site of its original introduction and that has the potential to cause harm to the environment, the economy, or to human health." Facts

A lot of these invasive weeds don't look like weeds and may be growing somewhat "undercover" in yards and other areas.  

Mass Audubon compiled a great guide and resource that identifies invasive plants, explains the threats posed, and tips for managing and keeping them at bay. 

Click here to learn more about invasives; how to identify and dispose of these troublesome plants.

Looking to take action and volunteer, LOCALLY?

Check out the Mystic River Watershed Association for volunteer opportunities - independently or in a group!  Click here.

Medford's Energy & Environment Committee has a lot of interesting programs currently being worked on including urban meadows, invasive removal, and pollinator projects.  Reach out to get involved!


First page of the PDF file: MAInvasivesBooklet_2023_1

Click the image to review the guide.


3.  REDUCE or ELIMINATE the use of Pesticides

"Pesticides can contaminate soil, water, turf, and other vegetation. In addition to killing insects or weeds, pesticides can be toxic to a host of other organisms including birds, fish, beneficial insects, and non-target plants"
-National Institutes of Health

Find out if the products you're using in your garden are pesticides using the EPA's Pesticide Product and Label System (PPLS)


Alternatives to Pesticides:

  • Peppermint, thyme, or rosemary oil
  • Vinegar (will kill all plants—don’t spray on anything you want to keep)
  • Liquid dish soap diluted with water

**Reminder that anything that can kill a mosquito can kill a bee!**