Recently our COO, Keith Freeman, accompanied his twin daughters’ Girl Scout Bronze Award project, building a pollinator garden. Are you ready for a behind-the-scenes look at Troop 1402’s sustainable project? If you’re like me and don’t have a ton of knowledge regarding pollinator gardens, you’ll find this post informative and inspiring – who knows, you might be saving the bee’s and building your own pollinator garden next weekend!
Girl Scout Juniors Caroline, Casey, Clare, Ellinor, Katherine, Kiera, and Mena were able to complete this project with money from selling cookies, and the sponsorship of HB Hospitality.
About the Project
The Bronze Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior (grades 4-5) can earn. To earn the Bronze Award, you must conduct a sustainable project with a work period of at least 20 hours. In order to give back to their community, Troop 1402 planted a garden that attracts bees and other varieties of pollinators, and at the same time helps in enhancing the community aesthetic. The Troop chose to build a pollinator garden and bee hotel when they found out how many bees die each year due to lack of shelter and food.
How to Build Your Own Pollinator Garden
When planting a pollinator garden, you should use native, non-hybrid, non-invasive plants. Be sure to do your research about different types of flowers depending on what types of pollinators you want to attract, such as bees, butterflies, or hummingbirds! This garden included Coneflower, Milkweed (for Monarch larvae), Lantana, and Catmint among others.
Once you have picked out your flowers and planned where you want to plant, mix up the dirt and carefully take the flower out of its pot. Dig a hole and insert the flower. When you have planted all of your flowers, hang up the pollinator houses and your garden will be complete! Wait for a few moons and the flowers will start to bloom.
Enhancing Your Garden
The girls also included a bee hotel (or pollinator house). You can easily buy one or make one on your own! To make your own bee hotel, cut pieces of bamboo that have a hole running down the middle and tie them into bundles of varying size.
There are a few ways you can enhance your garden including a bird bath or salt lick. For a bird bath, put a large rock in the middle for bees to stand on. For a salt lick, get a block of salt and put it in a moist area. The bees will take the salt water for use in their hives. (This is probably not a great addition if you live in a highly deer populated area.)
Once you plant your pollinator garden, be sure to register it in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge!
Space and Supplies
The Farm in Chapel Hill North Carolina have generously let the Troop use their space for meetings and other events and were excited to contribute some land to the Bronze Award Project. All the plants were found at For Garden’s Sake where the staff is knowledgeable and can help recommend good plants for pollinators. Special thanks to Ben at The Farm, the Troops leader, Tanya, and many others who helped Troop 1402 make their pollinator garden a bee haven!