The Dawson County Woman’s Club recently opened a new raised-bed garden at Main Street Park, aimed at raising awareness in the community of how vital pollinator-friendly flowers and plants are for the environment.
The pollinator garden is the second of its kind in the county, featuring four raised beds filled with flowers and other plants that specifically attract pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.
Edie Chodora, co-chair of conservation for the Dawson County Woman’s Club, said that the goal of the club and of planting the garden in the first place is to raise awareness for pollinators and to encourage more community members to plant their own gardens.
“Our goal is to spread this throughout the city and county and we would like to teach people how to do just what we’ve done and bring the pollinators back,” Chodora said. “This is an educational project.”
Each plant in the garden is labeled, so those walking through can learn what each one is and what they do. The garden also has panels with QR codes that can give community members more information about pollinators and their important role in the environment. Scanning the QR codes on the signs will also give those interested in pollinator gardening more information on how to start their own garden at home.
Georgann Schmalz, vice president of the Dawson County Woman’s Club, said that there are many reasons pollinators are endangered and the simple act of having more pollinator-friendly plants in the community is a way to make a difference.
“We are hoping that our Dawson County community will be inspired to enhance their yards and gardens with similar native plants, thereby helping our declining pollinators that are endangered by habitat loss, insecticides and non-native plants,” Schmalz said.
According to Chodora, one of the goals she, along with her co-chair Linda Bostick, wants the club to achieve is to help Dawson County become a Bee City, a lengthy process that certifies a city is dedicated to protecting bees and preserving their habitat.
“That’s the goal for the women’s club conservation group is to get everyone in our whole group to join in and make this a Bee City,” Chodora said. “If you would like to become a member of the newly established Bee City committee, please contact us — and you certainly don’t need to be a member of conservation to belong to this committee!”
City Manager Bob Bolz said that the club’s hard work in installing the garden as well as in educating the public on pollinators has been a welcome addition to the new park.
“On behalf of the city, thank y’all — this is great,” Bolz said to assembled members of the Woman’s Club at the park on June 30. “We’ve gotten a lot of good comments on all the educational signs and that was one of our desires to educate as well as get people to be outside in the park… so thank you.”
In addition to installing the garden, the Woman’s Club also purchased several benches that are scattered throughout Main Street Park, aimed at providing yet another way of making the park a more inviting place as well as getting the club’s name out in the community.
For more information on the Dawson County Woman’s Club and on establishing your own pollinator garden, visit the club’s website at www.dawsoncountywomansclub.org.