Pollinator Garden at the Gardiner Library

December 15, 2021

The Gardiner Library pollinator garden will be a stepping stone for pollinators using the rail trail as their pathway, and part of a larger effort to encourage more pollinator plantings along the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.

Step one of the garden project was completed in November by a group of volunteers. Members of the pollinator committee stapled a sheet of black plastic on the lawn to smother a 500 square feet area in preparation for the new garden.

Four women crouching on a lawn in front of the Gardiner library applying a sheet of black plastic.

Volunteer members of the Wallkill Valley Pollinator Pathway during the first phase of the garden installation at the Gardiner Library.

In Spring 2022 the plastic will be removed and native seedlings (or landscape plugs) will be planted directly into the dead lawn turf. Over the first growing season, the small plants in the new garden will need to be weeded and watered on a regular basis. By the following year, the plants will grow to fill up the bare space, covering the ground like a living “mulch” preventing weeds from taking hold. Also by the second year, the root systems will have been established and watering can be eliminated. Thereafter, the garden should require virtually no watering and minimal weeding.

Once the plants establish and begin to flower, the pollinator garden will start to attract butterflies and bees, moths and beetles. Over the winter months, the standing dead plants will provide a home to overwintering pollinator larvae and cocoons. The dead plants of a winter pollinator garden also attract birds foraging for seeds and overwintering insects.

While the birds & bees are foraging for food and habitat, visitors to the Library can enjoy a long seasonal display of flowering plants—from the earliest wildflowers blooming in April to the asters of November.

Volunteers will learn how to plant and maintain the garden from skilled ecological landscapers who are overseeing the project. If you would like to volunteer with the Gardiner Library pollinator garden, contact Nicole at nlane@rcls.org or Angela at pollinators@wallkillvalleylt.org

If you would like to learn more about pollinator gardens and pollinator pathways, visit:
and join the pathway at: wallkillvalleylt.org/pp/join-pollinator-pathway/