OverviewThe Pollinator Pathway is a challenge to connect the globe’s fragmented landscapes, which helps to offset the lack of biodiversity found in large-scale agriculture and suburban sprawl. More broadly, it is about a shift in environmental narrative—a recognition that to imagine the future we want, we need to dream and design bigger.
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 PathwayA Pathway is the goal. It provides connection by connecting two fragmented green spaces. Examples of Pollinator Pathways are connecting one park to another park, or a regional network connecting significant parkland.
A Pollinator PocketA Pollinator Pocket is not a pathway, but it can serve as an anchor point for one. It supports 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 PathwayHere are some basic criteria for developing a Pollinator Pathway:
Connect LandscapeThe 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.
Partner and Collaborate Across FieldsSolving big problems requires collaboration. For every project, a partnership between ecologists and designers is essential.
Maintain High Standards of Civic DesignDesign is important – especially in human-dominated landscapes. A Pollinator Pathway’s emphasis on native plants means they require extra planning to ensure lasting design.
Meet Ecological StandardsAll new projects use very high minimum percentages of native plants, are hardy/drought tolerant, meet pollinator requirements, and are pesticide free.
Don’t Displace DensityIn an urban context, a Pollinator Pathway is about not displacing urban density. This means using Transfer of Development, or, at minimum, only using underused space.
Have Long-Term Maintenance PlansYou are building a system for other species. A Pollinator Pathway must be cared for, for the long haul.