Jamaica seeks volunteers for pollinator habitat

The Water Street lot, which is being turned into pollinator habitat. Photo provided

JAMAICA, Vt. – With nearly a year of groundwork behind them, the Water Street Land Use Committee seeks volunteers of all ages to bring to life a biodiverse wildflower meadow in Jamaica Village. Work dates for the Jamaica Community Pollinator Project are scheduled for three upcoming Saturdays, June 3, 10, and 17, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Folks of all ages are encouraged to show up at the empty lot on Water Street close to Depot Street, for one or more work dates, to establish more than 2,000 wildflower starter plants. Native varieties include daisies, coneflowers, bee balm, milkweed, yarrow, and lupine. Available tools are limited. Participants are asked to bring hand tools, gloves, and water bottles. Refreshments and bug repellent will be supplied. While registration is not required, volunteers are encouraged to inform the group of intended participation.

The Water Street Land Use Committee, appointed by the Jamaica Selectboard in June 2022, was charged with making recommendations for the future of the town-owned, over two acre plot of land. It is the location along the Ball Mountain Brook where four homes were destroyed by tropical storm Irene in 2011. The Selectboard approved the committee’s recommendation to maintain the plot as a wildlife habitat, and improve it by establishing a biodiverse pollinator meadow along the popular pedestrian walkway. Committee members focused their efforts on creating a pollinator-friendly meadow after research and discussion on the importance of maintaining healthy habitats for insects such as butterflies, bees, and fireflies. “Natural pollinator habitats are under threat from climate change, invasive species, pesticides, real estate development, and fragmentation,” offered Committee Chairperson Jacki Brown. “Reserving space for these essential creatures is paramount to the survival of our ecosystem.”

The Jamaica Community Pollinator Project is supported by the Town of Jamaica, The Vermont Community Foundation’s Spark Connecting Community Grant, the New England Grassroots Fund’s Seed Grant, and Bee the Change. For more information on the Jamaica Community Pollinator Project, or to R.S.V.P. for a work date, search for @jamaicapollinators on Facebook, or contact the Pollinator Project at jamaicavtpollinators@gmail.com.

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