Without the actions of pollinators our food supply and surrounding landscapes would collapse.

Bees and butterfly on the flower garden
Hummingbird taking a drink from a purple flower

Pollinator havens and our lawns

OE is launching a new program, a pollinator project titled Hudson Valley Monarch Project. Pollinating insects and animals -butterflies, bees, birds and bats – are in a dire decline and without the actions of pollinators our food supply and surrounding landscapes would collapse.

To support our pollinators we need to rethink how we landscape our properties. Lawns have become a common landscape in our communities. Growing lawns and their upkeep – mowing, fertilizing, weeding and watering is proving a huge burden on the planet and its animals and the insects we depend on to fertilize it all. Lawns require exorbitant amounts of water to maintain – water that is rapidly running out. We need bees and butterflies and other pollinators to do what they do best -pollinate- and keep our environment healthy and able to support biodiversity. So one of our board members, Dr. Joe Grizzanti, had an idea to start a movement where we dedicate part of our lawns to making pollinator havens.

A pollinator haven can be a border garden, a central display, a raised bed or a meadow garden in place of the entire lawn. If enough of these are developed across Orange County and the Hudson Valley a travel network would develop for the bees, butterflies, birds and bats and we can help invigorate their populations.

Below are some common examples of flowering plants native to our region that attract and support bees, monarch butterflies, birds, and bats.

Plants and Planting Seasons

Milkweed

Monarch and Swallowtail Butterflies on milkweed plants
Monarch butterfly caterpillar feeding on milkweed plant on bloss

Milkweed blooms from late spring to mid-summer attracting pollinators far and wide.

Coneflowers

Close up of a honey bee flying between two purple coneflowers to
Black-eyed Susan Flowers

Spring coneflowers and summer Blackeyed Susans offer food to bees and butterflies from June to October.

Butterfly Weed

Honeybee on Goldenrod Flowers in Summer
Monarch Butterfly on the Orange Blooms of a Butterfly Weed with

Butterfly weed, with its yellow and orange blooms, feeds the butterfly from June-August.

New England Aster

Junonia coenia, known as the common buckeye or buckeye on New England Astor

New England Aster feeds our flying friends from August to October.

Coming Soon

Orange Environment’s Hudson Valley Monarch Project has established a greenhouse where we are growing milkweed, butterfly weed, coneflowers, Blackeyed Susans and New England Asters to start. As soon as we have a crop we will be offering these to the public at a reduced cost along with instructions and garden plans. Once you plant your haven, all we will ask is you sign-up to receive updates on the progress of the pathway we are all developing so that we can track how far it reaches.

In the near future, OE’s The Hudson Valley Monarch Project will have a separate website where information on pollinator issues and events, seedling availability, seasonal planting tips, and pollinator network growth will be available. By providing an email address on our contact page you will receive early notification of when our seedlings are available as well as details on Hudson Valley Monarch Project events.