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The Importance of Pollinator Gardens and Their Impact On Biodiversity

In the past 20 years, we have seen a significant decline in global biodiversity primarily due to habitat loss. Pollinators have endured dramatic declines and have caused reasonable concern in the scientific and agricultural fields. Due to the essential roles that pollinators play within functioning ecosystems, researchers have encouraged community gardens that promote pollinator habitat. To promote pollinator habitat in Westfield, Massachusetts, we developed plans for a community pollinator garden on Westfield State University’s campus to better understand plant-pollinator relationships and promote biodiverse habitat that provides both nesting sites and forage to increase pollinator abundance. After planting a variety of flowering plants and grasses within this plot, we will compare the success of the pollinator plantings and pollinator activity with a prior planted site located at the Horace Mann Center on campus. Our research will highlight which plant species and planting methods are most beneficial and successful following observed pollinator responses; providing data which is still unknown for the area. Additionally, we will create informational resources for the community and Westfield State students to use in the interest of pollinator conservation, garden expansion, and the possible incorporation of edible plants that also serve as pollinator forage. This project serves to identify the key habitat that benefits pollinators and raises awareness to the importance of biodiverse habitat for pollinator species.