By: Francesca Claverie, Native Plant Program Manager
This month BRN is happy to report that we have started working with Greater Good Charities to support regional pollinator habitat!
Greater Good Charities is an independent charitable organization devoted to improving the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet. Greater Good has supported some of our bat and agave work in the past and this year we are starting a new project to increase nectar sources for native pollinators and honeybees in the region.
The Sky Islands contains the highest diversity of not only mammals, but bees, moths and butterflies as well as nearly half the bird species in the United States, all of which depend on plants for food and habitat to survive. Pollinators are critical to the ecosystem because they help plants themselves reproduce through the process of pollination helping sustain our landscapes, support wildlife and the rich biodiversity of the borderlands.
Land degradation, climate change, and habitat destruction all threaten these important plants and animals, but by giving nature a hand by putting plants back into the landscape, we are securing a brighter future for the borderlands. Greater Good is funding 2 acres of flower seeding on some of the land Borderlands Restoration Network rents at our Native Plant Nursery and seed increaser field.
With over 10 years of practice and knowledge in propagating native plants and curating native seed collections for the Madrean Archipelago, the BRN Native Plant Program has developed effective methods for wild seed collection, cleaning and storage that support successful and genetically diverse habitat restoration projects. Our staff have also developed effective methods for producing restoration-quality plants as well as proven planting strategies for arid and grazed wildlands.
Greater Good staff, Brooke Nowak and Steve Minter, came down from Tucson to participate in the seeding event led by BRN Farm and Maintenance Lead, Travis Gerckens, and supported by staff Emmett Rahn-Oakes, Francesca Claverie, and Perin McNelis, as well as volunteer Casey Jacobs. The team worked all morning and the project was finished up by Travis, Perin, and Emmett in the afternoon.
The pollinator seed was hand broadcast throughout the 2 acres that Travis had marked off with flags and after seeding, was raked in by hand. After seeding and raking the area was irrigated with our water tank and nursery truck. The seed is expected to germinate over the spring, but is dependent on late winter rains. If our region doesn’t receive rain in the next month, we will water monthly to add moisture to the soil to support seed germination and pollinator plants.
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