The TWRA Region 3 office has received a grant from the national Bayer Feed a Bee program to install a pollinator garden at its Crossville office. This national program has allotted $500,000 in grants to establish foraging plots for pollinators in all 50 states by the end of 2018. The Feed a Bee program has funded a total of 71 projects through the initiative to increase forage for bees and other pollinators across the country since its inception.
As one of the 13 recipients of grants awarded during the second selection cycle of this two-year initiative, TWRA has received $5,000 to fund its planting project.
The Region 3 office will install a pollinator garden and extend a warm season grass and forb area. Not only will the garden beautify the regional office, it will provide an example of how native plants can be utilized to improve habitat for individual home and landowners. Míme Barnes, TWRA Information and Education Coordinator said, “A healthy ecosystem creates healthy wildlife. We’ve come far enough to understand that natural areas matter and that our yards collectively have an impact on wildlife. A small garden filled with native flowers in someone’s front yard means something.”
Bees have been documented as the most important group of pollinators in the United States. Loss of habitat and excessive use of pesticides has been recognized as the greatest contributor to pollinator loss. Initiatives to help pollinators across Tennessee have been in place for years through many state and federal programs. “We’re dedicated to the TWRA mission to preserve, conserve, manage and protect fish and wildlife. This garden is a terrific example of much greater things taking place across the state. We encourage everyone to consider what they can do for pollinators and wildlife on their own property,” said Ms. Barnes.
Landscape Solutions of Crossville will be installing the garden and donating some materials. Scott Clymer and Joe Sooter, co-owners, are well known in the area for their landscape design and garden center. Clymer and Sooter have focused on sustainable measures in their design since the start of their business in 2004.
Mr. Clymer said, “It’s great to bring beauty to a yard and provide for wildlife. Pollinator gardens are an easy way to attract birds and butterflies. Landscape Solutions is dedicated to the Crossville community and happy to be a part of TWRA’s project.”
For more information on the Feed a Bee grant or the TWRA regional office, visit tnwildlife.org.