Introducing Pollinator-Friendly Hamilton
Thanks to a grant from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, and in cooperation with the New Jersey Audubon Society and Mercer County Parks Commission, the Hamilton Township Environmental Commission and Green Team are launching Pollinator-Friendly Hamilton.
Pollinators, especially bees, butterflies and birds, are vital agents of the human food supply. Without pollinators, the survival of many of the crops essential to human survival would be in peril. And, today, due to loss of habitat from human activity, overuse of pesticides and other chemicals deadly to pollinators, increasingly frequent extreme weather events, and climate in-action, pollinators are in peril.
Over the next several months we will be offering:
- Educational presentations for all ages, about the importance of pollinators, the dangers they face, and how we can all help restore their populations to sustainable health.
- Opportunities for residents of all ages to volunteer in creating pollinator-friendly habitats, in our public spaces, in our wild spaces, and on our own properties.
- Discounts through our local merchants for pollinator-friendly garden kits, seedlings, seeds, and supplies. Pollinator-Friendly Hamilton will be a more sustainable, more vibrant, more beautiful Hamilton than ever before.
- Creating a Butterfly Puddler
- Emerging Milkweed
- Hummingbirds 101: Feeder Care, Ethics & Garden Tips
- Best Plants to Attract Hummingbirds
- Bees Are Awesome!
- Invasive Species & Pollinators Webinar
- Pollinators for Kids
- Did You Know: Fritillaries
- Bringing Back the Bees, Butterflies & Birds
- Pollinator Conservation 101
- Get the Buzz on Bees
- Monarch Gardens & Community Action
- Abbott Marshlands
Did you know that butterflies, especially males, like to congregate on wet sand and mud – partaking in “puddling” while drinking water and extracting minerals and salts from damp puddles. These minerals and salts help to produce pheromones.
Watch a video to learn how to add a Butterfly Puddling station to your home and don’t forget to leave out some rotting fruit which in turn will release gasses to entice and draw them in butterflies.
Did you know monarch butterflies depend on milkweed for their food supply? Monarchs and native milkweed are perfect together but non-native milkweed, especially tropical milkweed, can be harmful to them. Providing the right kind of milkweed to attract Monarchs is essential to creating and managing pollinator habitats. In New Jersey, the four most common milkweeds are Common, Swamp, Purple and Butterflyweed. During this video you will learn how to identify them as they emerge from the soil. Click the image or visit YouTube to see the video.
Did you know hummingbirds are among our most important pollinating birds? There is only have one species of hummingbird that breeds in New Jersey - the ruby-throated hummingbird! This 19 minute presentation offers a deep dive into habitat requirements, feeder care, ethics, pros and cons, and how to garden to attract hummingbirds. Learn how to get your garden or apartment balcony or your front or back porch to be filled with beautiful and happy hummingbirds today! Click the image or visit YouTube to see the Hummingbirds 101 video.
Attracting butterflies and birds with the same plants is a great strategy for saving both time and energy in the garden. This 14-minute presentation discusses and describes many of the best nectar-rich flowers and native North American plants that attract Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and butterflies in the eastern half of the continent. Notable plants covered in this video are:
- Coral Honeysuckle
- Red Buckeye
- Bee Balm
- Mina Lobata Vine
- Cardinal Creeper
- Scarlet Runner Beam
- Purple Hyacinth Bean
- Spider Flower
- Butterfly Weed
- Cardinal Flower
Click the image or visit YouTube to see the Best Plants to Attract Hummingbirds video.
Let Cowboy Jack take your kids on a beekeeping field trip to BeeWeaver Honey Farm in Navasota, Texas without ever leaving your own home! Learn about hives, drones, worker bees, queen bees, honey, pollination and much more during this 21 minute video. Click the image or visit YouTube to watch the Bees are Awesome, for Kids video.
Invasive species have a complex relationship with native pollinators and can impact them in ways many people have not considered. In this 31 minute webinar, Andrea Locke, the Coordinator for the Western New York Partnership for Regional Invasive Species (WNY PRISM) talks about:
- The relationship between invasive species, pollinators, and the restoration of healthy landscapes
- The impacts invasive species have on native pollinators
- Why diverse native plant communities are necessary
- How you can help
Click the image or visit YouTube view the Invasive Species and Pollinators webinar.
Explore the world of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds with Ranger Zak - including the roles they play in pollinating flowers. Plus, find out how you too can attract pollinators, such as butterflies, to your home and garden. Click the image or visit YouTube to watch the Pollinators for Kids video!
Pollinator Protection Program, a 2020 Zoom presentation for National Pollinator Week that Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) hosted emphasizing the importance of bees, the threats facing them, and how you can help protect them.
Adrienne Esposito, CCE Executive Director, led a discussion with CCE's expert panel:
- Deborah Klughers, Master Beekeeper and owner and operator of Bonac Bees, shared her perspective as a bee expert (straight from the bee yard!)
- Daniel Gilrein, a well-known Entomologist at Cornell Cooperative Extension since 1987, discussed the science on bees and other pollinators
- Dan Raichel, a staff attorney, and a member of the Lands and Wildlife program for Natural Resources Defense Council who has worked for years to protect bee populations from toxic pesticides, discussed legislative and policy solutions.
Interested in creating a monarch habitat garden? Want to participate or initiate community efforts to protect monarchs in your area? Creating habitat and getting others involved are two of the most important ways we can protect and conserve the monarch butterfly.
In this presentation from 2015, experts from Wild Ones and the National Wildlife Federation, two of the Monarch Joint Venture's partner organizations, described best practices for these important conservation strategies. Donna VanBuecken of Wild Ones showed the basics of gardening and what makes a garden habitat sustainable and inviting for monarchs. Mary Phillips of the National Wildlife Federation discussed community scale efforts, highlighting their own success stories in engaging local communities in conservation.
Did you know Hamilton is home to a 3000-acre freshwater tidal marsh - the Abbott Marshlands?
The northernmost tidal freshwater marsh on the Delaware River, much of it is along Hamilton's Delaware Riverfront. Friends for the Abbott Marshlands is Hamilton's local stewardship organization for the Marsh, educating local residents about the native plants, the birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators that support and are supported by the marshlands.