How it works
Becoming designated as a Pollinator Pathway means participating in a vision for connected ecology. For the Pollinator Pathway to ultimately build toward a future we can depend on, each project needs to meet ecological and design standards, which we are in the midst of defining. Typically we work in one of three arenas:
Institutions & Organizations
If you are a developer or organization, we can work with you as designers, consultants or partners to certify new Pollinator Pathways.
Local Governments & Public Agencies
If you are a local government or public agency, we can partner with you to develop new Pollinator Pathway programs. Contact us directly to talk about how you will create a comprehensive jurisdictional plan for Pollinator Pathways and/or your ideas for certifying individual Pollinator Pathways in your community.
Neighbors & Neighborhoods
If you are a neighborhood group or individual homeowner, we encourage you to enlist enough expert help (a landscape designer, and a botanist, native plant expert or entomologist) in order to prepare your plans for site preparation, design, and maintenance, before applying with us. If you need guidance to develop your plans, we would be happy to work with you as consultants. The central definition of a Pollinator Pathway is that it connect green space, which takes a great deal of dedication and work, so preparing well ensures your success.
What defines a Pollinator Pathway? Pathways vs Pockets
The enthusiasm for this project includes people with a broad range of
experiences and resources – from professionals like landscape architects, developers,
and botanists, who are representing companies or non-profits, to neighborhood organizers or individual homeowners. However, there is confusion around what constitutes a pathway versus a pocket.
A Pollinator Pathway
A Pathway is the goal. It provides habitat connection by connecting two fragmented green spaces. Examples of Pollinator Pathways are connecting one city park to another city park or large scale development, or a regional network connecting significant parkland.
A Pollinator Pocket
A Pollinator Pocket offers habitat to pollinating insects without being connected to another green space—such as a yard, a planting strip, a series of yards on a block, or a city park.
Requirements for a Pollinator Pathway
To qualify as a Pollinator Pathway, your project must meet requirements for connectivity, ecology and design.
We look for projects that:
The first definition of a Pollinator Pathway is that it connect two green spaces. This is easier to do if you’re a utility corridor, and much harder to do if you’re a homeowner gathering a network.
Maintain High Standards of Civic Design
Design is important – for pollinators and humans. A Pollinator Pathway’s emphasis on native plants means they require extra planning to ensure lasting design. The rule is- make it beautiful for humans, but build it for native pollinators.
Meet Ecological Standards
All new projects use minimum percentages of native plants, are hardy/drought tolerant, meet pollinator requirements, and are pesticide free.
Don’t Displace Density
In an urban context, a Pollinator Pathway is about not displacing urban density. In other words, it is not about creating meadows, but about thoughtful consideration of space.
Have Long-Term Maintenance Plans
You are building a system for other species. A Pollinator Pathway must be cared for, for the long haul.