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  • Writer's pictureErin Nylen-Wysocki

Pollinator Action Guide Now Available for Hudson Valley Gardens and Yards

Updated: Jun 24

How to Support Local Pollinators

Pollinators are the bedrock of the food chain that we all rely on, and they’re crucial to the functioning of farms and forests. Unfortunately, many of our local pollinators, and therefore our natural systems, are at risk. But the good news is, there’s a brand new resource for anyone looking to support bees, butterflies, moths, and other vital pollinators in the Hudson Valley! Check out the new Hudson Valley Pollinator Action Guide, a project of Partners for Climate Action Hudson Valley

We recently attended a great webinar to introduce all about this new guide. Avalon Bunge was instrumental in creating it.

Here are the Top 10 things we Learned

1. The Hudson Valley bioregion is especially important for conservation (and pollinator support!) as it contains 80% of the vegetation found in New York and an even larger percentage of the state’s total wildlife species. 

2. Despite your yard perhaps being abuzz with insects this June, newly released research found that up to 60% of New York’s pollinators are at risk due to various factors like pesticides and habitat loss.  

3. Honeybees are not native to the Hudson Valley and are therefore not the pollinators we should be most concerned about. While they’re important for specific types of crops throughout the country like almonds and blueberries, we should be paying more attention to this impressive list of nearly 100 target pollinators that are much more efficient for our local ecosystems which include: Golden northern bumble bees, skipper butterflies, and waved sphinx moths. 

4. You can support these pollinators with over 165 native plants including flowers, grasses, trees, and shrubs that are all listed in the guide complete with range notes, care information, and bloom time. There are also quick start lists that you can use to best fit the conditions in your garden or yard. 

Screenshot Pollinator HV Guide

5. Native plants are SO important because they have evolved alongside these pollinators for millions of years, so they’ve both become largely dependent on one another for survival. The guide even notes that “vibrations of bumble bees are perfectly calibrated to release pollen from the specific native plants that they’ve evolved to forage!” 

6. Worried about creating a tick-friendly environment while trying to help pollinators? You can make sure to have some wider mown walkways between your native pollinator planting areas so you aren’t brushing up against high vegetation when walking. And more native pollinators means more natural predators for ticks! 

7. Butterfly bushes, while they sound like pollinator heaven, are actually an invasive species that only provide a very small amount of nutrition to just some adult butterflies. 

8. Cultivars, or plants that have been bred for special traits, often come at the expense of

pollen and nectar as the plant spends more energy on those added special attributes (think extra petals on an Echinacea flower). This means less food for the pollinators! You can identify these cultivars by the proprietary names given to their breeds.

9. Partners for Climate Action has partnered with Hudson Valley Seed Company to create a local ecotype native seed mix that they will release this fall, especially for our at-risk pollinators. 

10. When visiting local nurseries in search of native plants, make sure you ask if the plants they’re selling are also pesticide-free. Many plants labeled “native” or “pollinator-friendly” are still treated with neonicotinoids which will likely devastate the pollinators you’re looking to support (until 2027 when these potent chemicals will be banned - hooray!) 

Here's the recording if you want to watch the entire webinar. Run time is 55 minutes.

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