While kids are our focus at Edwardsville Children’s Museum, our local pollinators – the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds that call Madison County home – come in a close second.
Pollinators may be tiny, but they play an essential role in food production. By flying from flower to flower, they transfer the pollen needed for a plant to reproduce. In fact, pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat.
By planting native plants and pollinator gardens at our Discovery Garden, we’re helping restore pollinators’ natural habitats across Edwardsville as well as offering children an outdoor space to learn about the world around them. In addition, our Micro Forest is home to more than 300 native trees and a new bee hive, which was added by volunteer beekeeper Jennifer Lyerla in 2023.
ECM is delighted to join other nonprofits, schools, and businesses in Edwardsville in supporting native gardens and protecting prairies across the region, ensuring pollinating insects and birds have a sustainable food source today and in the future.
In June 2023, thanks to the incredible work of community members, Edwardsville was designated as the first city in Illinois recognized by the national organization, Pollinator Pathway. This grassroots movement recognizes those communities that maintain public and private pesticide-free corridors of native plant habitats. There are more than 300 Pollinator Pathway cities across the U.S., and the list of continues to grow.
To learn more about Pollinator Pathway members and follow our pathway of pollinator gardens in Edwardsville, visit www.pollinator-pathway.org/towns/edwardsville.
Your home or business can become a partner in growing the pathway! Protecting our pollinators doesn’t require a lot of time, effort, or money. Simple steps, such as planting a small pollinator garden, using native species as your container plants, avoiding chemical pesticides, and adding a clean water source like a birdbath, ensure pollinators have a spot to stop as they travel across the community.