PARK DISTRICT TEAMS UP WITH VOLUNTEERS AND ComEd TO PROTECT POLLINATORS
On a beautiful Oct. 19th morning in 2019, 16 volunteers along with eight Envirogroup and Parks staff teamed up with Pizzo and Associates to plant over 4,600 native pollinator friendly plants on a 18,000 sq.ft. parcel nestled between Lake Arlington and the ComEd powerline easement. This was all part of the ComEd Green Region Program and a $10,000 matching grant awarded to the Arlington Heights Park District in 2018, for their Special Program Focus of Pollinator Conservation.
The program was developed to help bring awareness to the declining population of many pollinator species due to habitat loss, disease, climate and environmental changes. The 25 different plant species were selected in part to provide blooming plants and habitat throughout the growing season to the over 2,500 species of bees, butterflies and moths that contribute to the important role in the reproduction of flowing plants and food crops.
Over the next 2-3 years, Lake Arlington visitors can expect to see the native plants develop and begin to grow a strong and deep, drought resistant root system. Parks staff mowing the area over the first two seasons will help eliminate competing weeds and promote root growth before the native plantings begin to show off their true colors in the future years. Prescribed burns further down the road will also help eliminate invasive species and return important nutrients back to the soil for generations of people and pollinators to enjoy.