In 2020, AHCC member and Asylum Hill neighborhood resident, Paul O’Mara was approached by the Knox Parks Foundation about AHCC being one of several downtown Hartford churches to host a pollinator garden. These gardens feature native plants that are good food sources for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial flying insects – and they are hard for them to find in urban settings.
He received approval for the garden to be installed in the AHCC parking lot facing Huntington Street and enlisted Susan Fellman, a long-time gardening volunteer at AHCC, along with Master Gardeners Paul Grimmeisen and Kathye Cipes, to get the garden established. Paul Grimmeisen was instrumental in leading volunteer efforts at the Community Garden on Huntington Street.
Paul O’Mara rototilled the vacant plot and Knox Parks made the initial donation of pollinator friendly perennials.
After planting, watering, and mulching, today it’s a surprising burst of color and vitality with regular visits from bees, wasps, moths, and butterflies. Church sexton Jorge Fuentes has also been enlisted to help with mulching, and Kathye Cipes and her dog, Friday, can often be found watering the plants and weeding.
Some additional plants have been donated by the Connecticut Science Center and it’s fun to see what is blooming from week to week. At the end of the season, birds are sure to visit to take advantage of seed pods from the spent flowers and insects as they get ready for migration or the colder weather ahead.
If you haven’t seen the Pollinator Garden, please take the time to see what’s growing and blooming.
Special Request: Do you have a birdbath you could donate to the pollinator garden? It will provide food AND water to our tiny visitors. Please contact Kathye Cipes firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a birdbath or pollinator-friendly perennials that you would like to add to the garden. Thank you!