Volunteers have created a pocket prairie/pollinator garden near the Cicada Pavilion, providing visitors with a great opportunity to view North Texas prairie grasses and wildflowers. The garden also gives a boost to our native pollinators by encouraging the plants they depend on. Populations of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects are in steep decline across the United States due to loss of habitat, overuse of insecticides and other environmental issues. Without these hard‐working and often unappreciated creatures, about 75 percent of our flowering plants and crops would not develop fruit or seeds. There have been efforts by a variety of organizations and groups to bring recognition to our pollinators and give them a leg up in recent years.
Though it is still fairly new, the garden is already full of life. A variety of butterflies have been seen, including swallowtails, monarchs, queens, sulphurs, pearl crescents, buckeyes, emperors, question marks, red admirals, fritillaries and others. The butterflies are attracted to the beebalm, clammyweed, azure sage and many other wildflowers in the garden. Many other species of pollinators are also seen: bees, wasps, beetles, flower flies, and more. The garden will include only plant species native to North Texas, so it is a great place to see the variety of wildflowers and grasses found here, all in one spot.
There is always much to be done in the garden: weeding, deadheading/seed collecting, hauling mulch, and seed‐starting in the nursery. If you would like to volunteer there is sure to be a job right up your alley. Contact LLELA Restoration Manager Richard Freiheit at firstname.lastname@example.org to help out.