Thanks to the efforts of the Shovel and Rake Gang and Planet Church (along with the generosity of Renée Harber and the Clackamas Community College Horticulture Department), a pollinator garden, featuring Gaillardia (Arizona Apricot Blanket Flower) has been started on the east side of the sanctuary.
Environmental challenges—overuse of pesticides, habitat reduction, air pollution and climate change among them—have sent pollinating insects into a decline world-wide. Honeybees as well as native pollinators—all essential to both wild and cultivated landscapes—have been affected.
Worry about these vital agricultural linchpins has inspired concerted efforts to restore their numbers. There are many pieces to this conservation work, including the establishment of Pollinator Gardens. The National Pollinator Garden Network has launched the “Million Pollinator Garden Challenge”, to encourage the nation to plant one million new pollinator gardens by 2016; and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (through the Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns) has supported a grant program for the development of pollinator habitat.
Thanks to the leadership of Jim Ruyle, First Church is playing its part. Check out the east side of the sanctuary to see our new pollinator garden…complete with pollinators.