5 Pollinator Plants with Medicinal Properties

Stepping into a garden, there is an automatic hushed peace that comes with something that does not move or react as quickly as the constant paging through television channels or endless scrolling with which we have become accustomed. Instead, the growth of plants occurs at a diligent pace where our eyes are fooled into believing that there is no movement or change, only for us to wake up and be surprised by the beautiful magenta crowns of Bee balm. When you listen closely, you can hear the hum of productivity in the garden that comes from the whir of bees wings. Hearing a hummingbird for the first time in the season requires a moment of pause, as their powerful and quick wing strokes almost sound like a enormous wasp, only to be surprised by the glossy emerald or regal ruby throat of a tiny bird. In such a garden, where particular plants are selected for flowers that are elevated and easy to drink nectar or to gather golden puffs of pollen from, pollinators are healthy and abundant. Such plants are a boon for moths, butterflies, bees, bumblebees, and hummingbirds. While watching the expeditious work of the honeybee and the purposeful but lilting routine of the butterfly is certain reward enough for having such plants, the stalks and flowers that are in a pollinator garden often have hidden healing properties with a history that goes back to the early Americas when Native Americans would harness such properties. Today is the last day of National Pollinator Week, a time of being able to learn more about how to help our honeybees and butterflies, but we also wanted to provide you with information for five pollinator plants that also have medicinal properties.

MOUNTAIN MINT 
We will start with the unassuming, even meek mountain mint. Huddling together in clusters, the shy and small flowers of mountain start a light green and blossom into a linen white or soft lilac color. While delicate, even doily-like n appearance, these flowers were believed to have the power and strength to revive the dead. Their flowers and leaves are edible either raw or cooked and taste of an intense heat that comes with such a strong mint flavor, almost menthol-like in its strength. Tea can be created from it with analgesic, antiseptic, and tonic properties that can help with maladies from menstrual pain to coughs to colds to fevers. Even the worst case of chiggers will yield to the powerful aromatic qualities of this small plant. It easily helps fill your home with its minty aroma when dried and burned with incense or in a sage bundle. Mountain mint is a wonderful starter to any pollinator garden as it is easily grown, preferring to look towards the sun and enjoys a drier spot in the garden.

CARDINAL FLOWER

With stunning scarlet petals, the Cardinal flower stands as a crimson sentry over the other shrubs that may surround. Its regal appearance matches its namesake, which comes from the crimson cloaks of Roman Catholic priests. The Iroquois, Delaware, Cherokee, and Meskwaki tribes used this showy plant both ceremonially and medicinally. Its medicinal powers are either derived from its roots or its leaves. The roots have impressive antispasmodic properties, able to halt bronchial spasms when smoked at the first sign of discomfort. Furthermore, it has been used for treatment of epilepsy, syphilis, typhoid, stomachaches, cramps, and worms. Its leaves are long and thin, and when made into tea help treat croup, nosebleeds, colds, fevers, and headaches.

BEE BALM/WILD BERGAMOT

A number of pollinator friendly plants have stunning purple, red, and pink colors that make them so attractive to the senses of hummingbirds and bees. Bee balm is another flower to have easily accessible blossoms of such radiance. When making a salad on a summer day, you can include the edible flowers of bee balm as a festive garnish. A source of oil and thyme, bee balm is fragrant and an inspiring addition to aromatic and medicinal teas. This is truly the idel plant to grow in the Carolinas as it enjoys heavy clay soils, though it does require partial shade. If you are growing the red variety, it was known as Oswego tea and was used by colonists in place of English tea. Native Americans recognized that the four varieties of bee balm had different odors and was used as a sweat inducer for ceremonial sweat lodges as well as for its healing properties. The flowers and stems can be used for antiseptic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, and stimulant properties and help with lowering fevers, soothing sore throats, treating colds, and helping with other inflammation related illnesses. It can also be used externally for infections.

ECHINACEA

As the author I want to interject that purple coneflower or Echinacea is truly my favorite of the pollinator plants that also have medicinal properties for humans. It looks hostile with its large, bristling cone with a skirt of fluorescent purple petals, but is a pillar to herbal healing. Its use dates back to Native Americans observing that when elk were wounded or sick, they would seek out and consume the Echinacea plant. Since then, Plains Indians used Echinacea to treat anthrax and snakebites, the Kiowa and Cheyenne tribes used the flower for coughs and sore throat, and the Sioux tribes used it as a painkiller. Scientific studies confirm that Echiancea actively boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, and helps hormonal and viral disorders. Of all the plants to have in your herbal medicine cabinet, this is truly as close as you can get to a panacea. 

AMERICAN BEAUTYBERRY

As nature changes from its summer to autumnal wardrobe, the American Beautyberry is truly the statement piece with bold magenta berries that look like beads strung together to form necklaces and bracelets. These berries emerge from delicate, lacey flowers that are rose-tinted and small, clinging to its stem. Alabama, Choctaw, Creek, Koasati, Seminole, and other Native American tribes have used it as an insect repellant, the root and leaf for sweat baths to treat fevers and malaria, and the root for dysentery and stomach aches. Science has confirmed the folk usage of this plant through finding it indeed has compounds that repel mosquitoes and other biting insects.

            A pollinator garden is versatile, like much of nature, and can provide so many things for those who take the time to grow them. It will help your raised bed of squash and tomatoes, provide a safe haven and place to feed for our pollinators that are becoming increasingly challenged by human development, and can also be your medicine cabinet for making teas, tinctures, and a fresh, flowery snacks with benefits abound. Looking across the garden now, you can hear the beating of a hummingbird’s wings, and the colorful robes of the butterflies that move from flower to flower. A mixture of lacey, white flowers and bold, impressive fronds of scarlet and crimson petals, these plants have grown from this earth and provided medicinal help to people who have lived on the same land for hundreds of years. Just as the honeybee can get pollen from the flowers, you too can improve your life and health from growing these pollinator friendly plants in your own garden.

Celebrate National Pollinator Week at Durham’s First Pollinator Garden Tour

Celebrate National Pollinator Week with Keep Durham Beautiful and take a tour of Durham’s finest pollinator gardens. Learn why birds, bees, butterflies, and bugs are so vital to us! 

The Durham Pollinator Garden Tour will take place Saturday, June 24 from 9 am to 1pm. The tour will highlight the participating community gardens in our Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Program, which seeks to establish pollinator habitats throughout Durham, all the while increasing local food yield in low-income and underserved areas.

There will be 13 stops on the tour; visit as many as you like or all of them! Garden representatives will be on hand to show off their beautiful garden spaces as well as to lead visitors in fun pollinator activities such as honey tasting, water color art, nature journaling and much more!

Tickets are on sale now. All proceeds go to directly support Keep Durham Beautiful pollinator programs. Tickets, a complete list of participating gardens and tour map are available online at DurhamGardenTour.org .  Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the tour at the Keep Durham Beautiful garden, located at 2011 Fay Street.

National Pollinator Week runs June 18-25 and promises to be full of fun and educational activities. Find a list of events at DurhamBeeCity.org.

For more information, or to register as a volunteer, visit our website or contact Britt Huggins at Britt@KeepDurhamBeautiful.org or 919-560-4197.

About Keep Durham Beautiful

Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on InstagramFlickr, and Twitter.

 

Engaging and inspiring individuals to take greater responsibility for their community environment.

Planting Flowers with our Father’s- Bethesda Elementary School Pollinator Garden

Last month we went all out to celebrate Mother’s Day – taking the time to appreciate our own mothers and mother earth. That said, we cannot forget about the fathers and father figures in our lives! On June 21st, we celebrate all the great dads on Father’s Day.

In honor of Father’s Day – we wanted to share our experience planting a garden with an amazing group of dads and their kids at Bethesda Elementary School. This group of fathers inspired us, watching them serve as role models in their children's life while they volunteered their time to work alongside their kids to beautify the school grounds.

On May 20th, Keep Durham Beautiful partnered with Bethesda Elementary School and the EPA to plant a school pollinator garden as part of the All Pro Dad’s Breakfast. The All Pro Dad’s Breakfast program is coordinated by the school’s Family Community Specialist, Byron Judd, with the goal of creating strong bonds between the Bethesda students and their fathers or father figures. This was an exciting and meaningful project that gave back to the community and helped to beautify the school. Keep Durham Beautiful was honored to be part of this project that created a new BEEutiful pollinator habitat in Durham and provided an important opportunity for dads to build stronger relationships with their kids.

Nine dads and their 13 kids joined us on the sunny Saturday morning eager to plant. The day consisted of learning about pollinators, weeding, mulching, pruning, and planting 150 plants. The plants consisted of annual and perennial flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and birds. It was rewarding to witness the interaction between dads and their kids, most notably how the fathers helped the kids learn proper planting techniques. Another memorable moment was when the dads chipped in money for purchasing additional mulch; they did it without any hesitation and with the desire to make their kid’s school look beautiful. All the dads and kids worked together as a team and were extremely proud of their work and the appearance of their school. Thank you to all the dads that serve as role models to their children.

Happy Father’s Day!

Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr

Volunteering with family, friends, peers, and co-workers helps to strengthen bonds. Together we can make the bonds in our community stronger and make Durham beautiful!

Interested in volunteering with us? Fill out this short form and expect a KDB team member to contact you shortly. 

Daniel Dinkin’s Volunteer Experience

As someone who initially moved to the triangle area to attend UNC Chapel Hill, I found that I didn’t have time to get as involved with the community as I wanted due to school. However, I was always motivated to volunteer, both to meet people who share the same interest as I and to be part of a bigger cause. I volunteered with several organizations in Chapel Hill but I was still looking to get involved with an environmentally focused nonprofit.Once I learned of Keep Durham Beautiful, I decided to check out some of the volunteer events and I was happily surprised.

Daniel unloading tires at the 2nd Annual Tire Recycling Drive

My first volunteer event was the ReUse Rodeo where I served as a greeter who handed out goody bags filled with resources and tax return forms. This event encouraged locals to donate used clothing, books etc. I learned that there are many community organizations and non-profits who can utilize donations. This was also the first time I met the KDB personnel, Britt Huggins and Monica Ospina, who were extremely welcoming and immediately made me feel like I was part of the family. Their warm welcome, compounded with the cause that Keep Durham supported and the things I was learning fueled my interest to volunteer at other events as well.

My second volunteer experience was at the Durham Earth Day Festival, which brought awareness to the issues of sustainable resources and cleanliness of the environment. I was a Waste Warrior where I was at a station with three bins: trash, compost and recycling. I directed festival goers to dispose of their waste accordingly. While volunteering, I connected with another volunteer who was a former soccer player at UNC and works for a compost organization. She opened my eyes about the importance of compost and how integral it was to keep a clean environment. I was also surprised to learn that most of the things we consider trash can be easily composted.

The third event I was a part of was I love Durham Limpio- which consisted of working with Latino’s and non-Latino’s to remove litter in areas around Durham. We collected approximately 2,000 lbs. of litter. It was interesting to see how much of the litter we gathered were recyclables.

The last event I was part of was the 2nd Annual Tire Recycling Drive. There I met other volunteers, Ian and Anna, as well as an individual who worked with the Durham Public Health Department. He informed me that standing water in tires is a breeding ground for mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus, which was often asymptomatic and can be sexually transmitted. I also learned about the closed landfill that was nearby and how costly it was to maintain and treat trash.

Through my volunteer experience with Keep Durham Beautiful I have learned so much about the environment and not only how to keep Durham beautiful but how to also make conscious decisions in my own household. I found myself figuring out how to compost some materials from my trash and how to properly recycle. I learned of this organization through a friend, who is part of the YNPN mailing list and it’s hard to say if I would have known of it otherwise.

Celebrate Earth Month with Keep Durham Beautiful!

Earth Day is fast-approaching. Do you know how you’re celebrating? Consider joining Keep Durham Beautiful for one or more of our events this month!

April 22, 8am-2pm: Gather up your unwanted household goods for Durham’s first annual ReUse Rodeo! On Saturday, April 22nd, we will be accepting gently used books, clothing, furniture, working electronics, household appliances, cookware, tools, craft supplies, and more, to be donated to area non-profits and distributed back into the community. A complete list can be found on the event page. Paper shredding and e-recycling will also be available. Clear up your household clutter, help the earth, and give your gently used items a new life! The event will be held in the parking lot of The Shoppes at Lakewood at 2050 Chapel Hill Road. Want to help out at the inaugural Reuse Rodeo? Sign up to volunteer!

April 23, 12pm-5pm: Join us for Durham’s Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 23rd! Participants will enjoy green activities and demos, learn about sustainable practices and products at the Sustainability Expo and Earth Day Market, enjoy great music and food, and much more! The festival will take place at Durham Central Park at 501 Foster Street. To learn more, visit the event page. Interested in helping out? We are looking for waste warriors to help with recycling and composting at the event. Sign up to volunteer today!

April 27, 8am-2pm: The Community Appearance and Litter Index is a quantitative assessment used across the nation to gauge roadside litter levels. Volunteers from the community receive training and then drive set routes in Durham to conduct a visual inspection of litter levels and help identify future clean-up sites. Sign up with your friends and help us make Durham a cleaner community! Breakfast and lunch are available for all volunteers. More information is available on the event page.

April 29, 9am-1pm: We are bringing I Love Durham Limpio back! We are teaming up with Durham community partners to do an extensive litter cleanup with ALL members of the community. The purpose of this volunteer opportunity is for Durham community members to join forces by giving back to their community while learning about the environment and the resources Durham offers. We’d love for you to join us on April 29th from 9am-1pm! Don’t forget to bring your old shower heads to be traded in for NEW water efficient ones. Please visit the I Love Durham Limpio event page to view more information.

Durham Launches Bull City Workplace Challenge

Workplaces Can Now Save Money, Earn Local Recognition & Help the Environment

Share! #Durham workplaces can now save money, help our environment & more through the #BullCityWorkplaceChallenge: www.BullCityWorkplaceChallenge.com


DURHAM, N.C. – Workplaces interested in saving money, helping Durham’s environment, and earning local recognition can now register to join the new Bull City Workplace Challenge.

City of Durham Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell and Durham County Board of Commissioners Chair Wendy Jacobs are challenging workplaces across Durham to take new strides toward a greener, more sustainable future by joining this new program.

Created by the Durham City-County Sustainability Office along with 10 City and County departments and community partners, the challenge is designed to help workplaces of all types save energy, conserve water, protect water quality, produce less waste, and support sustainable transportation. The program will publicly recognize workplaces that substantially address these sustainability goals. Any workplace located within Durham County can participate.

Workplaces can now register on the Bull City Challenge website and complete an initial scorecard to assess their current green practices. Participants then improve their score by pursuing the remaining actions on the scorecard. These scorecard actions range in difficulty, cost, and time involved. To help workplaces improve their scores, the challenge offers guiding resources, experts who can answer questions, and lunch-n-learns throughout the year.

As workplaces complete new scorecard actions throughout the year, they will document their progress by updating their scorecard to achieve Bronze, Silver, or Gold recognition and will be publicly recognized in Spring 2018.

“Over time, many of the same steps to save energy and water and reduce waste will save organizations money,” said Durham City-County Sustainability Manager Tobin Freid. “A lot of people who live and work in Durham value the environment and support sustainable action. The challenge will help Durhamites bring these values into their workplaces.”

Workplaces that join the challenge will take practical steps that include the following:

  • Protect the health of their employees, their customers, and the public by reducing air and water pollution and workplace use of toxic chemicals.
  • Lessen the impact of climate change by emitting fewer greenhouse gases.
  • Protect communities by reducing and diverting waste from landfills.
  • Conserve natural resources such as water supplies.

According to Freid, for workplaces that are just starting off with green plans, the challenge is a great way to prioritize specific, manageable, and practical steps to take. Workplaces that have already taken steps on sustainability will be able to track their progress and find even more ways to become more sustainable.

Participants in the Bull City Workplace Challenge will help Durham reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from residences, businesses, and institutions by 2030 as required in the 2007 Durham City-County Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan as well as part of the City’s and County’s strategic plans. For more information, visit the Bull City Challenge website or call (919) 560-7999.

About the Durham City-County Sustainability Office

The mission of the Durham City/County Sustainability Office is to help protect and improve Durham’s environment through wise use of natural resources by providing guidance and resources to City and County employees, businesses, and citizens. For more information, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on Twitter.

 

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Get Your Hands Dirty For Spring

The birds will start chirping and the bees will start buzzing soon! It’s time for us to go outdoors and start working on our gardens. If you are new to gardening and are planning to start your own veggie garden, we have some tips for you:

  • Your garden should receive a minimum of 6 hours of sun per day, 8-10 hours is ideal
  • Your garden should be located near your house (this will make you use it!)
  • Your soil should be fertile and easy to till. Loose, well-drained loam are preferable; sandy and clay soils are fine as long as you add organic matter 
  • Avoid soggy soils that remain wet after it rains
  • Your garden needs 1″ of water/week. Please water in addition to rain
  • Your garden should have good air drainage- should be on high ground
  • and the FUN part-plan what type of veggies you want to grow
  • Start planting after the LAST frost date- April 13th 
  • Be prepared to dedicate half an hour of work per day to your garden

If a veggie garden isn’t your thing, you can plant a flower garden. Keep in mind to plant native species. Native species are accustomed to the soil, climate, and water conditions of their habitat. They will also require less maintenance than non-natives and will attract native species!

For a list of native flowers, ferns, grasses, rushes, and sedges visit the North Carolina Botanical Garden at UNC 

For more information on gardening, please visit NC State Cooperative Extension  site. 

Keep Durham Beautiful Seeks Pollinator Garden Applicants

Keep Durham Beautiful
News Release
For Immediate Release: January 6, 2017
 
Keep Durham Beautiful Seeks Pollinator Garden Applicants
Durham-based community gardens are invited to apply for the “Healthy Bee Healthy Me” Pollinator Garden Program
 
Durham, NC – (January 6, 2017) – Keep Durham Beautiful (KDB) currently seeks applications from community gardens interested in installing a pollinator garden and interpretive signage near an existing community garden space. Four Durham-based community gardens will be selected to participate in the 2017 “Healthy Bee Healthy Me” Pollinator Garden Program.
 
The “Healthy Bee Healthy Me” Pollinator Garden Program is brought to you by Keep Durham Beautiful in partnership with Durham County Cooperative Extension to promote pollinator habitat throughout Durham City and County. The program is made possible in part by grants from The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation and Triangle Community Foundation’s Support for Places: Environmental Conservation Public Benefit Program.
 
The goal of the program is to establish educational pollinator gardens in proximity to pre-existing community gardens to ensure the sustainability of nectar and pollen sources for our honey bees, native bees, butterflies and other pollinators throughout the year, and to increase the yield of the food crops grown within the community gardens.
 
Gardens selected to participate in the Healthy Bee, Healthy Me program will receive pollinator plants, tool loaning, technical guidance, and interpretive signage. Preference will be given to well-managed community gardens that serve low income or underserved populations, with a focus on food and revenue generation.
 
Our goal at Keep Durham Beautiful is to create more vibrant and beautiful spaces, where our residents are engaged to be good stewards of their community environment.

Providing bees and other pollinators with plenty of food sources throughout the year ensures the sustainability of their populations and increases the health and yield of the food crops grown nearby. Establishing pollinator gardens is one of the many ways that KDB promotes community greening and beautification.

For more information or to download the application visit: http://keepdurhambeautiful.org/programs/healthybeehealthyme or contact Keep Durham Beautiful at 919-560-4197.
 
About Keep Durham Beautiful
Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on Instagram, Flickr, and Twitter.

Durham Hosts E-Waste, Christmas Tree Recycling & Paper Shredding Event

Free and Convenient Event Open to All Durham Residents

Durham residents looking for an easy and free way to recycle electronic waste, shred confidential documents, and drop-off of their live Christmas trees should attend the City of Durham E-Waste Recycling & Paper Shredding Event later this month.

The event will be on Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the visitor side of the Durham County Memorial Stadium, located at 750 Stadium Dr. Staff will be on hand to unload old electronics, trees, and paper.

The event, sponsored by the City of Durham Solid Waste Management Department, Sonoco Recycling, Shimar Recycling, Synergy Recycling, and Durham County Government, will accept nearly all electronic devices with a cord, including:

  • Computers, laptops, keyboards, mice, printers, monitors, speakers, copiers, scanners, circuit boards, hard drives, computer parts, etc.
  • Televisions, stereo equipment, tape players, receivers, amplifiers, record players, etc.
  • Kitchen electronics, such as microwaves, mixers, blenders, choppers, etc.
  • Telephones, cell phones, and fax machines
  • Hair dryers, curling irons, alarm clocks, and vacuum cleaners
  • Power tools, cordless tools, etc.
  • Electronic toys, such as keyboards and video game systems
  • This event will not accept large appliances, refrigerators, air conditioners, or any other appliances that contain Freon. Confidential paper shredding will also be provided on site. 

Requirements for shredding include:

  • Paper may contain paper clips and staples; however, hanging file folders will not be accepted. 
  • Only paper should be brought for shredding. CDs, DVDs, and other non-paper items will not be accepted. 
  • All paper should be loose and not in binders or other binding items made of non-paper.
  • Residents may be present to observe their confidential document shredding if the amount to be shredded can fit into one 96-gallon roll cart (approximately 240 pounds of material or approximately eight small, banker boxes of material).
  • Participants with larger quantities will have items placed in boxes to be shredded off-site at Shimar Recycling’s secure facility.

Requirements for live Christmas tree drop-off include:

  • Trees taller than six feet should be cut in half.
  • Remove all decorations and hardware, including tinsel, lights, garland, ornaments, nails, and stands.
  • Do not place trees in bags.Residents who can’t make this event can still safely and conveniently recycle their old electronics at the City’s Waste Disposal and Recycling Center. The Center will also accept live Christmas trees at no charge from now through Saturday, February 4. Trees delivered after February 4 will be subject to the usual disposal fees. The Center, located at 2115 E. Club Blvd., is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to noon. For information about items accepted at this event or the City’s recycling facilities, contact Durham One Call at (919) 560-1200 or visit the City’s Solid Waste Management Department Web page

East Durham Children Help Pollinators while Learning about Food Production

Pollinators

Keep Durham Beautiful AmeriCorps Member, Monica Ospina, teaching 3rd graders at Spring Valley Elementary School about the important role pollinators play in our food production.

This fall, Keep Durham Beautiful partnered with East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) to educate East Durham 4th and 5th graders about the importance of pollinators. These young students are enrolled in the East Durham Youth Health Leadership Council (YLC) Program.

The purpose of EDCI’s Youth Health Leadership Council Program is to inspire, educate, and empower youth to become advocates for health and wellness within their community. The program provides training and leadership development opportunities for East Durham children. The training that is provided for the youth empowers them to lead the design and implementation of a community-based health intervention project, with the following core topics: leadership development, nutrition and healthy eating, health disparities, and physical activity.

One topic that interested EDCI was the connection between pollinators and food. At Keep Durham Beautiful, we found this to be an excellent opportunity to educate these young leaders about the relationship between pollinators and our current food system. Pollinators help plants to reproduce by carrying pollen from one plant to the other. It’s crucial to understand the process of how a berry becomes a berry (just to name a beloved fruit) and the key role pollinators play in that process.Experts calculate that pollinators are responsible for 1 out of 3 mouthfuls of drink or food that Americans consume.
The children learned that populations of pollinators, in particular bees, have been in decline in recent years due to pesticide use and habitat loss. However, as gloomy as that may be, we wanted to remind the kids that they play a vital role in helping to protect our pollen-loving friends! The youngsters learned that they can help raise awareness, advocate for pollinator-friendly gardens and habitat preservation, and decrease our use of pesticides.

To make the lesson hands-on, we planted pollinator-friendly seeds in Sub Irrigated Planters (SIP’s) also known as “self-watering plants.” The SIP’s were created with recycled 16 oz. water bottles that were collected from the City of Durham’s General Services Department. We also gave the kids extra pollinator friendly seeds, so that they can plant more at home. They were excited to help plant the seeds and advocate for pollinators.

Once the kids finish all of their training they will design and implement a project of their choice, if they decide to plant a pollinator garden in their school or community, Keep Durham Beautiful will be excited to guide them through the process.

More information on how to create your own SIP: http://www.brooklynseedcompany.com/how-to-make-a-plastic-bottle-sip/