The City of Charlotte recently partnered with the North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF) to convert planting areas on the grounds of Old City Hall and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center into native pollinator gardens. These new gardens help restore native habitats in the center city that attract and support pollinators and other insects that are critical to a healthy ecosystem. The project complements other public- and private-sector efforts in the center city, such as the Federal Reserve’s green roof and the Ritz-Carlton’s rooftop garden and honeybee hives. It also supports the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayor’s Monarch Pledge and NCWF’s Butterfly Highway Project.
The plants for the gardens include native species such as New England aster, butterfly weed, whorled tickseed, purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan and native shrubs such as fothergilla and yaupon hollies. NCWF donated the plants.
“These new pollinator gardens are located close to the sidewalk, so they can inspire the public and educate them about the diversity of pollinators and the benefits of using native plants,” said Vicki Ferris, horticulturalist for City of Charlotte Landscape Management. “Bees usually come to mind when people think of pollinators, but other excellent pollinators include certain species of butterfly, caterpillar and moths. As these gardens mature, they’ll attract a wider variety of insects.”