Greening Greenfield kicks off campaign to save pollinators

  • A variety of pollinators populate the garden at the John Zon Community Center in Greenfield throughout most of the year. STAFF FILE PHOTO

  • A viceroy butterfly lands on a flower in a garden created to attract a variety of butterfly and bee species. STAFF FILE PHOTO

  • Hynes

  • Hazard

Staff Writer
Published: 3/11/2019 5:17:13 PM

GREENFIELD — Greening Greenfield is about to kick off its new campaign to encourage residents to help pollinators locally.

The campaign – to inspire people to plant native flowers, shrubs and trees to beautify Greenfield, while building habitats for insects that address the biodiversity and climate crisis – is called “Planting for Pollinators! Let’s Build Biodiversity and Beauty in Greenfield.”

On Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m., the green group will hold a free public talk, “Pollinators: Silent Spring and Rachel Carson’s Legacy,” at the John Zon Community Center, 35 Pleasant St.

Nancy Hazard of Greening Greenfield said the decline in numbers of insects, including bees, butterflies and other pollinators, has been in the news quite a bit, and that concerns many.

She said Pat Hynes, an environmental engineer, former Environmental Protection Agency staffer, author and director of Traprock Center for Peace and Justice, will share Carson’s story.

Her talk will be followed by presentations by experts from the Western Massachusetts Pollinators Networks and the Western Massachusetts Master Gardeners sharing what their organizations offer.

While introducing its new campaign, Greening Greenfield will also introduce an action that everyone who has a garden can do this spring.

“Rachel Carson was a renowned writer and an amazing person,” Hynes said. “I want to share her story of her love of nature and what brought her to write “Silent Spring,” as well as her courage in going head to head with the chemical industry in the early 1960s.”

Hynes said “Silent Spring” galvanized the environmental movement and led to the government creating the EPA to protect the health of the planet by regulating pesticides, herbicides and other toxins.

This is the first in a series of workshops and talks that will be offered by Greening Greenfield.

Greening Greenfield will also introduce specific things gardeners can do when buying plants.

“When we read in The Recorder that butterflies are like the canary in the coal mine, we wanted to learn more,” Hazard said. “We wanted to know: What is the role of pollinators in supporting life on Earth? What do pollinators need to thrive? And what can we do? We have learned a lot about the problem and the solutions. We want to learn more and share that process with others.”

The second event of the campaign will be held April 20 to celebrate Earth Day. Tom Sullivan of PollinatorsWelcome.com will share stories of his trip to Ireland, where he learned about the first in the world countrywide pollinator plan. He will also share his vision of building a pollinator corridor in Greenfield.

That talk will be followed by guided tours of the proposed corridor, as well as opportunities to work in the new pollinator garden at the John Zon Community Center.

Sullivan said he would love to see a corridor where eventually people grow pollinator gardens like the established one in the Energy Park off Miles Street and the one planted last year at the Zon center.

“Let’s make Greenfield beautiful and attractive to people and insects, like bees and butterflies,” Sullivan said.

He said as time goes on, he hopes to be able to take seeds from the two gardens and disperse them to gardeners throughout town.

“We’d collect the seeds and provide them to different neighborhoods,” Sullivan said of his vision. “Those plantings would support bees and butterflies and expand their populations.”

For more information, visit Greening Greenfield on Facebook or call 413-774-5667.


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