Bees were buzzing about the blooming asters as the Pollinator Garden on the Larimer Campus was dedicated, and that is the point of the garden.
The garden is the latest area to join the city of Fort Collins Nature in the City program, which committed grant funds to the project. As Stephanie Blochowiak, an environmental planner with the city, said, the garden “is exactly what we were hoping for.” The program strives to create and enhance additional natural spaces while providing residents easy access to nature.
It’s a “wild” place on campus with a willow stand, asters, other flowering plants and herbs, wild grasses, no chemical treatments, and a solar-powered water feature (a “wild” idea, I suppose).
FRCC Students, Staff Created Garden
This area, which was planned, designed, and developed by students, faculty, instructors, and staff, is meant for bees and other pollinators. This was a great example of cross-departmental effort (dare I say pollination?). Biology, Horticulture and Landscape Technology, and Forestry, Wildlife, and Natural Resources as well as Career Pathways high school programs, Facilities, Student Life, and Grants and Resource Development were involved.
You might think “hives” when thinking of honey bees, but many species are ground nesters.
Here’s another fact I didn’t know: Colorado is home to about 950 species of bees, making it the fifth most bee-diverse state.
This garden is easily accessible a stone’s throw northwest of Harmony Library. It’s next to Sunlight Peak, the science building on campus. You can visit whenever you are on campus.
Where’s the Hive?
If you are looking for a hive, it’s in a biology classroom in Sunlight Peak. Bees have their own entrance through an outside wall. Students will be able to see the cycles bees go through, including gathering pollen to making honey to feeding off the honey. Though most bees live about three weeks, a queen can live five years (another bee fact unknown to me).
Be Grateful for Pollinators
Bees aren’t the only pollinators you might see at the garden. Depending on time of day and time of year, you also may see butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, bats, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Be grateful for the pollinators. Without them, we’d be mighty hungry and have less of a natural world to enjoy.