wrapping up 2020

This year, despite everything, our extended CPP community did an amazing job getting thousands of native plants in the ground, making a home for wild nature in the city and building connections with each other. Here are some pics highlighting our hopeful moments in a very tough year.

  1. We grew 100 species of native plants from seed, took care of them all summer, and made them into garden kits.

2. More than 50 neighbors in Corcoran, Phillips, and beyond adopted these kits–totaling about 6,000 plants!–and used them to create new pollinator gardens, or to expand existing pollinator gardens.

3. We also partnered with Metro Blooms and CNO on a Lawns to Legumes demonstration neighborhood grant, which provided professionally-designed pollinator gardens along with native trees and shrubs to 30 residents of Corcoran and Phillips. The grant included funds for a brand new pollinator garden tool library (including a sod cutter!) housed in CNO that will be available starting in 2021.

4. In a freaky coincidence, towards the end of the summer we found a nest of endangered rusty patched bumblebees in the steps of Daniel’s new house. This is one of only a few rusty patched nests ever found in MN. UMN Bee Lab scientists were able to observe the nest to gain crucial conservation knowledge about the species.

5. By November it was time to mix up a batch of potting soil to start seeds for next year. We’re using space at Squash Blossom Farm to start the seeds once again.

6. For 2021 we’re focusing on short-statured and early-blooming species, as well some interesting trees and shrubs like prairie wild rose, bladdernut, and wafer ash (seeds pictured above). We got lots of seed from Prairie Moon using L2L grant funds, and we also collected some seed from mature gardens we’ve planted in the last few years, from the demonstration gardens at the Bee Lab, and from seed collecting days with The Prairie Enthusiasts.

As I write this, these seeds are starting their journey to becoming beautiful plants that will feed and shelter our insect buddies and provide all manner of quantifiable and unquantifiable benefits to our lives. We can look forward to lots more planting soon.

xo SN

Brown-belted bumble bee (Bombus griseocollis) on meadow blazing star (Liatris ligulistylis). (Thanks to Elaine Evans for bee ID)