Sauk County Land Resources & Environment and Extension Sauk County provided a limited number of free pollinator demonstration garden kits to qualifying organizations located in Sauk County. One goal of the group is to increase pollinator habitat. As part of their efforts, the group worked together to provide pollinator garden kits to local organizations and groups throughout Sauk County. These free kits were made available to qualifying organizations thanks to funding provided by the Ho-Chunk Nation and Sauk County. Recipients were awarded a pre-planned garden kit and instructions on how to attract a variety of bees and butterflies that included over 32 plants suitable for a 10’x5’ plot. The participating organizations not only were given the tools to increase habitat but made a commitment to maintain the garden for years to come and allow the public to access these demonstration gardens.
Pollinators like birds, bats, and butterflies don’t have an easy job. They are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. According to the University of Wisconsin Madison, approximately three-quarters of the world’s major food crops require or benefit from animal pollination. Pollinators sustain our natural resources and ecosystems as they travel from plant to plant to help them reproduce. However, many pollinator populations are in decline. There are a variety of reasons like pollution, misuse of chemicals, diseases and changes in climate patterns. Another large reason for the decline is the loss of habitat.
The Sauk County pollinator protection collaboration between Sauk County LRE and Extension Sauk County hopes to increase pollinator habitat throughout the County but also hopes members of the public are able to learn more about pollinators and take steps to help on their own. For a list of steps you can take, visit https://sauk.extension.wisc.edu/ and click on the Sauk County Pollinator Protection Resources page. Here are the future locations of 25 demonstration pollinator gardens:
- 6:8 Inc., Sauk City
- Baraboo High School Ag Dept and FFA
- Boys & Girls Club of Reedsburg
- Boys & Girls Club of West Central Wi Baraboo/Sauk County
- Camp Chi, Lake Delton
- City of Baraboo Parks and Recreation Department (2)
- Dutch Hollow Lake Property Owners Association
- Flyways Waterfowl Experience, Baraboo
- Friends of Mirror Lake State Park, Rocky Arbor State Park
- Gordon L Willson Elementary School, Baraboo
- Kids Ranch, Rock Springs
- Lake Redstone POA Garden Club
- LaValle Area Community Action at LaValle Town Hall
- Merrimac Community School
- Pineview Garden, Reedsburg
- River Valley Area Community Gardens
- Sauk County WSB/Courthouse
- Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance
- Summer Outdoor Adventure Club Inc., Hartje Nature Center, Reedsburg
- Tower Rock Elementary, Town of Prairie du Sac
- Town of Spring Green
- University of Wisconsin-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County
- Wisconsin Dells FFA
Applicants applied for a pre-planned pollinator garden kit with plants and instructions on how to attract a variety of bees and butterflies with a garden full of pollinator favorites. The kit includes 32 plants (in 3 inch pots) and are suitable for a 10 foot by 5 foot space. Instructions and signage are included with the kit. The kits from Prairie Nursery are valued at $139 and are designed for medium soils that receive full sun. For more information on the kits visit: https://www.prairienursery.com/32-plant-pollinator-garden.html.
Applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria to be eligible for the pollinator demonstration garden kit:
- Provide a 10′ by 5′ planting space in Sauk County that receives full sun
- Ensure the proposed pollinator demonstration garden will be highly visible and accessible to the public
- Install and protect educational signage included in the kit
- Ensure garden plants have a high chance of survival including access to water and mulch as needed
- Maintain the garden for at least 5 years
- Submit a final report including before and after photos as well as a short summary of their experience. Applicants are also required to upload the location of their pollinator garden to the Monarch Joint Venture’s Monarch Conservation Efforts Map.
- Ensure the proposed garden site is not an extension of the existing pollinator habitat
Review and Award Process
Members of the Sauk County Land Resources & Environment and Extension Sauk County staff will review applications. All applicants will be notified as to the success of their application.
Applicants are required to submit a final report including before and after photos as well as a short summary of their experience to: Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org by September 1, 2022. Applicants are also required to upload the location of their pollinator garden to the Monarch Joint Venture’s Monarch Conservation Efforts Map prior to September 1, 2021. Photos and excerpts of the project summaries will be posted on the Sauk County pollinator protection website. Failure to submit a final report will jeopardize the applicant’s eligibility for future funding.