|5/3/2021 8:25:00 AM|
Pollinators have place of honor in library artwork
A good sized gathering Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day) celebrated the dedication of the East Central Regional-North Branch Library’s monarch sculpture. Monarch populations are dwindling due to loss of habitat and their preferred homebase, the milkweed plant is a key component in North Branch’s citizen garden effort. In 2018 the Rotary Club of North Branch provided funds to have buy small signs bearing a butterfly logo and information, which are given to residents who create a small pollinator friendly garden somewhere in their yard. (See the city website www.ci..north-branch.mn.us)
Environmentalists and butterfly lovers are still welcome to put in 100 square foot garden plots with pollinator-attracting plantings.
The sculpture seemed a perfect fit for the community and the library is an ideal spot. And, speakers explained that another 2.5 acres of library lawn is being converted to natural terrain as part of this project. Wayne’s Nursery and Greenhouse, Peterson’s North Branch Mill, City of North Branch, MN Native Landscapes and the library are supporters.
Tom Anderson explained that the converted grass to natives will provide critical habitat for the insects that pollinate one third of all the fruit and vegetables we eat.
Created by Crysten Nesseth, the steel monarch sculpture is on a limestone base, and when the grounds conversion to native plantings is completed later this summer— it will have wild prairie-like surroundings.
No tax dollars are being expended on this and, later when the native plants are established, not having to mow and maintain the new natural space, will be a savings.
The project celebrated last week was made possible through Kids Saving Earth (KSE) a North Branch-based organization, winning a grant for $25,000 from the Manitou Fund. The local monarch strategy team assisted in writing the grant application.