GREENFIELD — “A Pollinator Corridor for Greenfield?” is the title of Greening Greenfield’s free Earth Day event, to be held Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m. The family-friendly event will be held at the John Zon Community Center, 35 Pleasant St.
Tom Sullivan, owner of PollinatorsWelcome.com, will share stories of his recent trip to Ireland, where he met with folks implementing Ireland’s countrywide pollinator plan. This trip has inspired his vision of a pollinator corridor in Greenfield that would link the new pollinator garden he co-designed with Nancee Bershof at the Zon Community Center with the gardens at the Energy Park.
“Ireland was beautiful in many shades of green, including real work being done to save biodiversity on the island. My traveling companion, Peggy MacLeod, and I made friends with and presented our work to the folks at the National Biodiversity Data Center, whose international conference we attended,” said Sullivan. “Ireland has 99 native bee species where Massachusetts has nearly 400 native pollinators that need food and shelter to thrive — and we can build that for them and beautify Greenfield.”
Sullivan’s grandmother got him hooked on protecting bees when she explained that bees did not intend to hurt him, after he got stung when diving into a bush chasing a ball. He then passed on those comforting words to his 4-year-old sister when she stepped on a bee.
But it was not until 2008, after graduating from the Conway School of Landscape Design, that he learned about the thousands of native pollinators around the world. Today, building habitat for them is his passion.
Sullivan sees streetscapes, roadsides and tree belts as perfect places to build pollinator habitat, because they are readily accessible, can beautify urban environments, and provide rich resources for our pollinating insects and birds.
At this fun family event, Sullivan will show slides of his trip to Ireland, followed by guided tours of the potential pollinator corridor and the garden at the Zon Community center. After the tours, free wildflower seeds and snacks will be available along with many resources and a door prize of a Mason Bee nesting kit that Sullivan donated.
GG’s campaign Planting for Pollinators! will include speakers, opportunities to get your hands dirty, and information posted on its web site. GG’s campaign is part of the Western Massachusetts Pollinator Networks. For more information go to their web sites, or call 413-774-5667.