With many people in Asheville making plans for spring gardening and visits to the local nursery, now is a great time to think about nurturing a native pollinator garden in your yard. Asheville GreenWorks – Western North Carolina’s most active volunteer environmental group and an organization that Mosaic has long supported – offers a Native Pollinator Garden Certification program, which allows you to certify your garden as a pollinator habitat.
A bounty of benefits in a pollinator garden
The Native Pollinator Garden Certification program educates the community on the important elements of a beneficial pollinator habitat, helps beginner gardeners get started, and recognizes those seasoned gardeners whose pollinator gardens continue to flourish. Not only does creating a pollinator garden help the local ecosystem, but thanks to the fact that it’s already adapted to the region’s environment, a pollinator garden is easy to care for once it’s established, making it a breeze to boost your home’s curb appeal at the same time.
The Native Pollinator Garden Certification program has four tiers of habitat quality, allowing anyone, from patio-planter gardeners to large-scale cultivators, to participate and gain ground in their pollinator-garden aspirations. The requirements for a full-fledged pollinator habitat involve avoiding pesticides, removing invasive growth, and including native plants, nectar sources, trees or shrubs, larval hosts, water and shelter for pollinators. Once your garden meets the requirements, you will receive a certificate and the option to buy an official designation sign for your garden to spread awareness.
Break ground on your garden
You may already have a garden you’d like to certify, in which case you can visit https://www.ashevillegreenworks.org/pollinator-garden-certification.html to understand tier requirements and decide which level you fall under. If you don’t yet have a pollinator garden, Asheville GreenWorks provides all the information you need to get started, including comprehensive lists of easy-to-find-and-grow plants. You can also visit their site to find local nurseries that carry native plants, learn about bloom times and invasive species, and see a map of certified habitats in the area.
Once your garden is established, you can fill out an application for review. The application fee is $10, with an optional $35 sign fee. Visit https://www.ashevillegreenworks.org/pollinator-garden-certification.html for more information.
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