Portland Pollinator Partnership is hosted by the Bayside Neighborhood Association, a nonprofit community advocacy group. Wild bees and other insects are as crucial to maintaining our flowers, vegetables, and other plants as honey bees. Planting appropriate pollinator and insect-friendly vegetation has many benefits to Portland’s ecology.
Our mission is to protect and increase pollinator habitat in Portland through education, community partnerships, and local projects. We seek to promote native pollinator species through encouraging sustainable practices, providing education and resources, and discouraging the use of synthetic pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
Newly formed in April 2014, we have partnered with a number of Portland, Maine area residents, businesses, and organizations. We hope you will join us in exploring ways to enhance our natural environment for the benefit of all.
In 2017, we will be meeting the third Tuesday of every other month at 5pm at 409 Cumberland Avenue, located next to Back Bay Towers in Bayside. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, January 17, 2017. We will be hosting Going Native in Portland, a special presentation on how to use native plants in Portland gardens and urban landscapes with Heather McCargo, Executive Director of The Wild Seed Project.
Free or $5 Suggested Donation // Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend.
GOING NATIVE IN PORTLAND: Using native perennials, shrubs and trees in urban and suburban Portland
Heather McCargo will give a slide presentation on tough natives plants that can be used in Portland gardens and urban landscapes. These natives are beautiful, resilient and will support many species of pollinating insects and birds. We will look at a variety of recommended plants for different growing conditions from sunny, hot and dry, to wet or shady. She will also discuss issues in the nursery trade with native plants and loss of genetic diversity, and explain easy methods for sowing native seeds.
Wild Seed Project is a Maine based nonprofit that works to increase the use of native plants in all landscape settings in order to conserve biodiversity, encourage plant adaption in the face of climate change, and to create pollination and migration corridors for insects, birds and other wildlife. Wild Project sell seeds of locally sourced wild type native plants and educates the public on propagation techniques so that a wide range of citizens can participate in increasing native plant populations.
Heather McCargo, the founder and director of the Wild Seed Project, is an educator with 30 years of expertise in plant propagation, landscape design and conservation. She was the head plant propagator at the New England Wildflower Society’s Garden in the Woods in the 90’s, worked at several landscape architecture/planning firms specializing in ecological design, has been a contributor to several research projects with USAID, National Gardening Association, and with MOFGA. She has lectured nationally and is widely published in journals and magazines such as Horticulture and American Nurseryman. Locally she designed the master plan for the medicinal gardens at Avena Botanicals in Rockland and was the creator and lead teacher for the Bay School’s Agricultural Arts program. Heather has a MA from the Conway School of Landscape Design and BA in plant ecology from Hampshire College.
At our March 21 meeting, we will be planning work to enhance the Yardscaping Project at Back Cove.
THINK SPRING! For our May 16 meeting we will meet at our Western Prom Garden to refresh the garden.
Western Promenade Native Pollinator Garden
On May 20 we planted a native pollinator garden in Portland’s West End in partnership with the Wild Seed Project and the City of Portland, facilitated by the generous support of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Gulf of Maine Coastal Program. This educational community amenity will serve as a model for native, sustainable urban pollinator gardening.
The garden is modeled on our Sunny Garden Template (see below) and includes: Rose Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata); Aromatic Aster (Aster oblongifolius); Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum); Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum); Heart-leafed Alexander (Zizia aptera); Rough Blazingstar (Liatris aspera); Prairie Onion (Allium stellatum); Smooth Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis); Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta); Smooth Aster (Aster laevis); New England aster (Aster novae-angliae); Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata); and Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium reptans). Not all plants will bloom this year, but will, over time, provide a sustainable source for pollinators.
Parkside Flower Power Day
In May, the Parkside Neighborhood Association holds its annual Flower Power Day during which neighbors bring pots and receive flowering plants to beautify their residences and the neighborhood. Portland Pollinators was able to find the perfect source for flowering plants that are pesticide-free and are grown locally: PATHS, Portland Arts and Technology High School, which runs a program in landscapes and gardens. This is a perfect example of community partners helping each other out for the greater good! Thanks to PATHS for working with us on this revitalizing neighborhood event!
Native Plants Festival and Pollinator Parade
Everyone had a great time at he May 14 Maine Audubon event:
Native Perennial Pollinator Garden Bed Templates
We are currently working with our partner, Wild Seed Project, to develop more gardens in partnership with the City of Portland and others. We recently developed these “sun” and “shady” templates, based on an 8″ x 10″ garden, which can be adapted to a number of garden shapes and sizes:
Sunny Native Perennial Pollinator Garden Bed Template
|AA||Aromatic Aster||Aster oblongifolius|
|CR||Culver’s Root||Veronicastrum virginicum|
|G||Wild Geranium||Geranium maculatum|
|JL||Jacob’s Ladder||Polemonium reptans|
|NEA||New England Aster||Aster Novae-angliae|
|NO||Nodding Onion||Allium ceruum|
|P||Beardtongue Penstemon||Penstemon digitalis|
|R||Black-eyed Susan (Rubeckia)||Rubeckia hirta|
|RM||Rose Milkweed||Asclepias incarnata|
|SBA||Smooth Blue Aster||Aster Laevis|
|V||Blue Vervain||Verbena hastata|
|Z||Heart-Leafed Alexander||Zizia aptera|
Download PDFs of both the sunny and shady templates here:
Portland Pollinator Vision Plan
In the winter of 2015, our community partner Wild Seed Project engaged the Conway School of Landscape Design to conduct a research project focused on a city-wide pollinator corridor for Portland. The goal was a unifying vision for pollinator habitat throughout the city that would also connect urban residents with nature on a daily basis. This remarkable research project is filled with site analyses and multiple opportunities available to create pollinator habitat in the Portland metropolitan area. It is a first step to creating a different view of the built environment. Wild Seed Project will be generating a variety of design templates over the next year to give Portlanders the information they need to help realize this vision. Read the plan here. You can also download it as a PDF here: 2015_PollinatorVisionPlan_Low.
Bayside Trail Pollinator Garden
In September 2015, we spruced up our garden a bit. There were bees galore even as we worked. The garden is located along the Bayside Trail behind Trader Joe’s and Allspeed Cyclery & Snow.
Cultivating Community Summer 2015 Newsletter
Portland Pollinators is mentioned in our partner Cultivating Community’s summer newsletter in an article on Community Gardening in Southern Maine. The newsletter also has lots of info about the future of CSAs, their Food Hub project and other news. Read the newsletter here.
Help spread the word! Click here: PPP.InfoSheet to download and print copies.
Pollinator Plant Recommendations for the Northeast Urban Garden
In partnership with the Wild Seed Project, we have recently created an easy to use guide to pollinator plants, including annuals, perennials, natives, and resources. Click here: Portland Plant Guide.Final to download and print your copy.
Landscape and Garden Resource List
Click here: PPP.ResourceList to download and print copies of our local Resource List.
Pesticide-Free Zone Lawn Sign
It’s here! Make your own Pesticide-Free Lawn Sign. Simply click on the link to print this Pesticide Free Lawn Sign on heavy stock, laminate at your local copy center, and attach to wooden stakes.
Bayside Trail Pollinator Garden
Our first Pollinator Garden planted on the Bayside Trail behind Trader Joe’s in September, 2015, was a huge success!
A huge thank-you to Broadway Gardens who donated most of the plants, to City Arborist Jeff Tarling, and to the volunteers who helped to plant. Bees began circling and lighting on the Blue Fortune before we even got it in the ground! We planted:
Pow Wow White Coneflower
Rozanne Hardy Geranium Cranesbill
Mesa Yellow Blanket Flower
Hazy Pink Aster
Blue Fortune Agastache Hybrid
Field Map of Plants (click on image to enlarge)
We hope to assist others in planting many more of these gardens around Portland.