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Pollinator Garden

by Wells Reserve Contributor


In 2018, the New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS; renamed Native Plant Trust in 2019) launched the Pollinate New England initiative to raise awareness of the steep decline in insects, birds, and other animals that pollinate plants and crops, and to encourage people to use native plants in their gardens to create habitat for those critical species.

The Wells Reserve and UMaine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers cooperated to successfully promote the reserve as one of 12 sites around New England to host a demonstration pollinator garden and associated education programs.

The Pollinator Garden in early August 2021. Photo by Allan Amioka.


NEWFS goals for the project were to:

  1. Achieve tangible outcomes in the conservation and recovery of native plants.
  2. Build a broader and more engaged constituency for native plants.

Anticipated outcomes for the project included having homeowners convert their yards into new gardens filled with genetically diverse, pesticide-free, native plants to reinvigorate pollinator populations.

Project Period

2018 to present

Master gardener volunteers adopted the pollinator garden once it was installed and have continued to nurture it in cooperation with the Wells Reserve.


A 150-square-foot pollinator garden was installed on June 27, 2018, along the reserve's entry walkway during a public workshop led by Dr. Annie White, ecological landscape designer and adjunct professor at the University of Vermont, and Mark Richardson, NEWFS botanic garden director. They were assisted by master gardener volunteers and workshop participants.

Newly installed Pollinator Garden with some of the crew who planted it on the Laudholm campus in June 2018. Photo ? Allan Amioka
Newly installed Pollinator Garden with some of the crew who planted it on the Laudholm campus in June 2018. Photo ? Allan Amioka

Pollinator Garden Plant List

Botanical NameCommon NameMature HeightSeason of Interest
Antennaria neglecta
field pussytoesshortspring
Asclepias incarnataswamp milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa
butterfly milkweed
Chelone glabra
white turtlehead
Eutrochium maculatum
spotted Joe Pye weed
Eupatorium perfoliatum
Fragaria virginiana
wild strawberry
Liatris novae-angliae
New England blazing star
Monarda fistulosa
wild bergamot
Penstemon digitalis
foxglove beardtongue
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium
narrow-leaf mountain mint
Rudbeckia tribola
three-lobed coneflower
Solidago caesia
wreath goldenrod
Symphyotrichum novi-belgii
New York aster
Verbena hastata
blue vervain
Carex gynandra
nodding sedge
Schizachyrium scoparium
little bluestem

The project included an essential set of tools for maintaining the garden: steel rake, leaf rake, edger, square-point shovel, pruner, hand sickle, hori-hori knife, 200-foot hose, and watering wand.

An evening presentation by White and Richardson followed the garden installation.


  • New England Wild Flower Society (Native Plant Trust)
  • UMaine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers
  • Wells Reserve at Laudholm


  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • New England Wild Flower Society

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