The Pollinator Pathway Design Criteria

We are currently working to establish a toolkit and specific criteria for Pollinator Pathway designation. The goal of this project is to set minimum standards for design projects connecting two or more green spaces across North America. Read below to get an idea of how it will work and check back soon for more resources

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:

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

drawing2 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

drawing1 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:
  1. Connect Landscape

    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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meet Ecological Standards

    All new projects use minimum percentages of native plants, are hardy/drought tolerant, meet pollinator requirements, and are pesticide free.
  4. 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.
  5. Have Long-Term Maintenance Plans

    You are building a system for other species. A Pollinator Pathway must be cared for, for the long haul.