Pollinator Haven Garden
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Pollinator Haven is a teaching and demonstration garden located at the N.C. Cooperative Extension-Lee County office at 2420 Tramway Rd. Sanford NC. The purpose of the garden is to educate the public about the importance of pollinators and to teach about the elements of pollinator habitat.
The garden’s existence is the result of a group effort led by Horticulture Agent Minda Daughtry, Tracie Bowers (EMGV), and the Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of Lee County, who researched plant species, designed the landscape, cleared and prepared the soil and planted the garden. The garden is maintained by Amanda Wilkins, the horticulture agent (as of August 2022), Tracie Bowers, Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, and members of the Lee County community.
What is Pollination?
Pollination is the result of pollen being moved from the male part of a flower (anther) to the female part of the same or another flower (stigma). The result is fertilization, and the production of fruits and seeds. Some flowers rely on the wind to move pollen, while others rely on animals to move pollen.
Animals visit flowers in search of food, mates, shelter and nest-building materials. Some animals, such as many types of bees, intentionally collect pollen, while others, such as butterflies and birds, move pollen incidentally as the pollen sticks to their bodies while they are collecting nectar from flowers. All of these animals are considered pollinators.
Worldwide there are more than 20,000 species of wild bees alone, plus many species of butterflies, flies, moths, wasps, beetles, birds, bats and other animals that contribute to pollination. North Carolina has an impressive 500 species of native bees, and 175 species of butterflies.
More than three-quarters of the world’s food crops rely at least in part on pollination by insects and other animals and nearly 90% of all wildflowers rely to some extent on animal pollination. Apples, blueberries, cherries, onions, cucumbers and avocados are a few examples of pollinator produced crops.
Self-guided tours of Pollinator Haven are available during regular Extension hours. Free docent-led tours and pollinator-related programming for groups are available by calling the N.C. Cooperative Extension Lee County Office at (919 )775-5624.
Content Contributed by Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Tracie Bowers