Caution — bee crossing! Darien launches pollinator pathway plan

Pollinator Pathway co-chair Deepika Saksena, back, left, Nature Center Executive Director Leila Wetmore, Pollinator Pathway co-chair Juliet Cain; Gardener’s Center owner Kris Barker, front, left, Nature Center Program Director Emily Ciffone, Darien Librarian Susie Skerrett, Nature Center Program Teacher Nina Miller

 

A collaboration of Darien residents from various groups in town, starting with the Darien Nature Center, the Garden Club of Darien, the Gardener’s Center and Florist and the Darien Library, is seeking to create a pollinator pathway across Darien.

By including all of Darien in the pathway, Darien’s pathway will link with the pathways in process in Norwalk, Stamford and New Canaan, which themselves link to those in Weston, Wilton and Ridgefield. As towns form their own pathways, there is expected to be a seamless and safe corridor for pollinators across Fairfield County.

The pathway will provide a pesticide-free and native plant habitat on both public and private properties. This means that pollinators will have the nutrition they need to do their work of moving pollen from one plant to another to enable reproduction and the growth of new plants. More than 90% of crop types need bees for pollination. In fact, it is estimated that the value of pollination by bees is over $12 billion annually in the U.S. alone. Other pollinators include butterflies, birds, bats, beetles and other insects.

Pollinators are not the only ones who would benefit from a pesticide-free environment. Chemically derived insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers have been shown to cause hormonal disruption (particularly in relation to the male reproductive system), cancers, birth defects and neurological effects. Contamination in landscapes can last for years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states that homeowners now use 10 times more chemicals per acre than farmers. By having landscapes that are free from harmful chemicals and by growing native plants to provide our pollinators with food and habitat you will be able to participate in the Pathway and play a role in protecting the environment, food sources and health.

More info: pollinator-pathway.org/darien, email [email protected] or on Instagram at @darienpollinatorpathway.