Environment Day - Pollinator Garden / Butterfly Garden

Pollinator Garden / Butterfly Garden


What is a Pollinator Garden / Butterfly Garden?

A pollinator garden is is a garden that is planted and designed with specific nectar- and pollen-producing plants, in a way that attracts pollinating insects known as pollinators. A butterfly garden is a garden that is designed to create, improve, and maintain habitat for lepidopterans, which includes butterflies, skippers, and moths. While pollinator gardens and butterfly gardens can be the same thing, but they are not necessarily. The information and instructions below are relevant for either type of garden. 

Why plant a Pollinator Garden / Butterfly Garden? 

Pollinators like bees and butterflies are facing increasing constraints on their habitats and ecosystems. This is due to a variety of factors, from climate change, pesticide use, and urbanization. Landowners typically create gardens and green spaces that are very well manicured and tidy. They might look incredible, but they are not what our pollinators need!  

The goal 

Building a natural space of native plants, creating a habitat where caterpillars can safely grow and bees can reliably return each season. 

Pollinator Garden / Butterfly Garden mechanics 

  • Preparation Time: 4-5 hours, (could be less, depending on the size of the garden) 
  • Duration: 6-8 hours, depending on the size of the garden and number of volunteers 
  • Cost: $100-$1000, depending on the size of the garden.
    • Soil
    • Native plant (seeds)
    • Rocks or other decorations
    • Signage
  • Volunteers: 8-10
    • This activity is family-friendly and accessible to anyone who has the mobility to partake in gardening and can get to the area that the garden will be.
  • Intensity/Effort: Medium-high (digging, shovelling, bending or kneeling for sustained periods, carrying bags of soil)
  • Location: Spend time considering where this garden will be planted. A typical pollinator garden is much more crowded and overgrown than a regular garden, so take that into account when making your decision.
    • Homeowners can also make their own pollinator/butterfly gardens on their property! 
  • Materials:
    • Soil and native plants
    • Appropriate clothing and footwear (close-toed shoes or boots; long pants and a long-sleeve shirt, especially in dense vegetative areas; hats for warmth and/or sun protection; gardening gloves)
    • Gardening tools, such as shovels, hand spades, and gloves (have volunteer brings these from home)
  • One of the benefits of a pollinator/butterfly garden is that they have minimal ongoing maintenance.

Additional resources (click the link to go to that resource)