The Wildlife Habitat Committee reflects the sustainable gardening and environmental values of the Garden Club. Chair Pam Wright notes that an early goal was to achieve certification of Willimantic as an official Community Wildlife Habitat. We succeeded and have maintained our yearly re-certification continuously since 2011.
Working with the National Wildlife Federation of America, the committee stresses the essential role of native plants and animals in our ecosystem and strives to provide the habitats that plants and animals need to thrive.
Volunteers continuously work to remove invasives and plant native New England trees and shrubs along the Airline Trail, the East Coast Greenway, and at the Whitewater Park in Willimantic. Grants and donations have supported this work.
Our most recent endeavor, spearheaded by Wildlife committee member Jean de Smet, is to partner with towns and organizations in eastern CT to develop Pollinator Pathways. The “Pollinator Pathways Project” educates about the special importance of pollinators to our human food web, and about the dangers that invasive plants pose for our native pollinators.
The Pollinator Pathways Project encourages gardeners to landscape with plants that provide maximum food and shelter for every stage of insect life Those plants most often our own flowering and fruiting native shrubs and wildflowers.
Along with creating pollinator-friendly areas, Garden Club members are contributing to a statewide map of pathways, using signage to engage the larger public in this project. Watch for our “Pollinator Area … Do Not Mow” signs.