EDITORIAL: Saving the pollinators in Southington

EDITORIAL: Saving the pollinators in Southington

“Pollinators need your help! There is increasing evidence that many pollinators are in decline.”

This warning comes from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which tells us that some of the hummingbirds, bats, bees, beetles and butterflies that help pollinate over 75 percent of our flowering plants and food crops are endangered. Without them, we would miss many fruits, nuts and vegetables because they all depend on pollinators.

That’s why the FWS is encouraging people to build pollinator gardens and establish pollinator pathways — and that’s just what’s happening in Southington and elsewhere in this area.

Southington town leaders are looking for residents and businesses to join them in creating pathways — yards and other areas free of pesticides that have plants for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. There’s a new pollinator garden in the works at the Novick property on Flanders Road — created this summer with a grant from the Greater New Britain Community Foundation — and residents are encouraged to take similar steps on their own land. There's also a pollinator garden near the YMCA, created by Kelley School students and teachers.

In Middlefield there’s now a pollinator patch in the Giving Garden, which was built last year by Coginchaug Area Transition. The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association has a butterfly and bee garden on Oregon Road in Meriden. And the North Haven Garden Club maintains two pollinator gardens, one at the Historical Society building and another at Todds Pond.

But pollinators are still threatened by pesticides, which is why the FWS urges people to avoid or limit pesticide use: “Pesticides can kill more than the target pest. Some pesticide residues can kill pollinators for several days after the pesticide is applied.”

Great examples of community service, these commendable local efforts to provide safe habitat for helpful creatures can mean fun and educational opportunities for both adults and children, and are helping keep crucial pollinators alive and thriving in our area.