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Kansas pollinators help our gardens grow & so much more

We all know pollinators are important for our flowers and vegetable gardens, but their role is even more significant than you might realize. Birds, bees, butterflies, moths and other insects such as beetles and wasps are important pollinators that serve critical roles in maintaining quality ecosystems. They pollinate our native plants, trees and agricultural crops. These insects and their larvae also serve as food sources for many bird species during migration and nesting. The seeds and fruits produced by insect pollination are nutrition for many animals during winter, too.

To raise awareness of the importance of our native pollinators, Governor Laura Kelly recently proclaimed June 17-23, 2024, as Kansas Pollinator Week to coincide with National Pollinator Week.

Invite pollinators to your yard

Incorporating Kansas native plants into your landscape and avoiding pesticides are easy first steps to creating a pollinator habitat. Choose plants that bloom at different times during the growing season to support activity. Native perennials should establish easily in the right conditions, and many species are drought tolerant.

plants in library parking lotSeveral years ago the library added native plants including Common Milkweed (blooming now) in the parking lot islands to attract Monarch butterflies. We've seen Monarch caterpillars feeding on the milkweed leaves annually, while the adult Monarchs and other insects enjoy the fragrant flowers. Our Golden Alexanders bloom early and are host plants for the beautiful Black Swallowtail butterfly. The showy yellow flowers of our Evening Primroses attract nighttime moths. Many bees will soon adorn the Rattlesnake Master when it's flowering.

Here are recommended books to help you plan a new pollinator garden or enhance your existing landscape. It's fun to discover new visitors and learn about their preferences. You might also find your new habitat to be a fun segue to nature journaling and photography.

Happy gardening!


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