Durham Pollinator Garden Tour

"Pollenteers" of all ages are invited to come out and celebrate National Pollinator Week with us! Take a tour of Durham's finest pollinator gardens, engage in fun pollinator-related activities and learn why birds, bees, butterflies, and bugs alike are so vital to us! The Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Program has 13 participating community gardens, stop into as many you like or all of them. Check out the event website for more info about tickets and volunteer opportunities: Durham Pollinator Garden Tour 

Pollinator Garden Grant Recipients Announced!

Today is the big day! Keep Durham Beautiful will announce the winners of our Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Pollinator Garden Grant! Stay Tuned! 

Deadline for Pollinator Garden Grant Applications

Today is the last day to submit an application for the Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Pollinator Garden. Make sure to have all completed applications submitted. 

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.

Rain gardens are a kind of Superhero garden!

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A rain garden is not your typical garden but rather a kind of “Superhero” garden. To all the gardeners that may be shocked by my claim, please allow me to explain myself. Rain gardens are composed of native shrubs, perennials, and flowers that are planted on a small depression on a slope. These superhero gardens are beneficial to us and wildlife in many ways. The main tasks of these gardens are to temporarily capture and soak rainwater runoff that flows from roofs, lawns, and driveways. If you’re thinking” but all gardens do that!” the answer is: yes and no. The reason is that traditional gardens are not planted in a “bowl-shaped” area but planted in a flat area. On this flat area, some water filters into the soil but MOST of the water runs off until it reaches a lake, river, stream, or storm water drain. During its journey, runoff picks up pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides, bacteria, dirt, oil, garbage, etc. Those pollutants will eventually reach and negatively affect our sources of drinking water and recreational areas. But with the help of our Superhero- Rain Garden the water will be captured and filter most of the pollutants. By collecting water in the “bowl-shaped” area, rain gardens also protect against flooding and erosion by minimizing the surge of water that rushes to a body of water after a storm. You can plant native plants that are accustomed to excess water in your rain garden. The added benefit of planting native is that these plants will help attract native species and reduce the amount of time spent in maintaining your garden. If you are trying to save the bees, butterflies and other friends the Superhero- Rain Garden will save them all along with enhancing the quality of our drinking water.

We have an upcoming volunteer opportunity to participate in planting a rain garden- Let’s Create a Superhero with Keep Durham Beautiful- Rain Garden Planting at Watts Montessori Elementary School on October 9, 2016 from 2:00 pm- 5:00pm.

 

How You Can Start Greenscaping in Durham

The practice of greenscaping allows you to put nature to work in your lawn and garden. With smart practices and plantings, you can eliminate some of the chemical usages around your home. This will help lower your impact on the environment. So here are a few changes that you can make to start improving your yard while saving time and money!

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The first thing you need to do is develop healthy soil to reduce your dependency on fertilizers. The practice of composting will help you with this. It is easy to build a composter at home with just a plastic garbage can and a drill. The practice of composting breaks down both kitchen and garden waste into nutrient-rich plant food. Each spring as you plant, you can mix in your compost into the soil to feed your plants. While this may not completely eliminate the need for all fertilizers, it will reduce it.

You should also pick plants that are suited for your yard. Knowing how much sun your yard gets and soil type will help with this. Many nurseries clearly label their plants with what environments they will thrive in. It is preferable that you pick native plant species to help protect the wildlife. Also, you can choose plants that invite birds and butterflies into your yard.

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You can conserve water if you learn how to efficiently water your garden. The biggest tip is to water early in the morning. Watering in the middle of the day is ineffective. While watering at night encourages the growth of mold. If you don’t want to wake up early, you can use timers and soaker/drip hoses to cut down on water usage. Sprinklers are not the most effective tools for watering. Lastly, using ground cover plants or mulch helps hold the water in through the day so it doesn’t evaporate.

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Finally, leave your grass between two to three inches tall. Then mow your yard regularly and leave the grass clippings. Organisms will break them down and turn them into fertilizer for your lawn. Another reason to not trim your lawn too short is that shorter grass is less resistant to weeds. You can save time and money on weed-killing chemicals as your lawn begins to protect itself.

It is important to know that all of this takes time. Your lawn probably won’t become perfect overnight, but with some careful management, you will save time and money down the line. There are many resources for on how to improve your lawn and garden in the Durham area. Check out the Durham Master Gardeners, the North Carolina Native Plant Society, or the North Carolina State University lawn and garden resources.

Pollinator Week Event – Pollinator Week at the Museum of Life and Science

Tuesday, June 21st- Friday, June 24th : 9:30-11:30am- Pollinator Week at the Museum of Life and Science: Join the Museum as we celebrate National Pollinator Week! Visit The Garden, the museum’s sustainable demonstration garden, and see real pollinators helping our plants to grow. With the help of educators and local scientists, learn about the important role the animals play in the survival of plants and people alike. Free with museum admission.  Museum of Life and Science, 433 W Murray Ave. http://www.lifeandscience.org/calendar

Keep Durham Beautiful Seeks Pollinator Garden Applicants

Healthy Bee, Healthy MeKeep Durham Beautiful Seeks Pollinator Garden Applicants – Deadline April 25, 2016

Durham-based community gardens are invited to apply for the “Healthy Bee Healthy Me” Pollinator Garden Program  

 
Durham, NC – (April 20, 2016) – 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. Eight Durham-based community gardens will be selected to participate in the 2016 “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 a grant from The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation.
 
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 Instagramflickr, and Twitter.
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