Harrisonburg’s Pollinator Program buzzing as planting season kicks off

Harrisonburg Public Works looking to fill more spaces in the city with pollinator plants
Harrisonburg Public Works looking to fill more spaces in the city with pollinator plants(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 10:39 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The City of Harrisonburg’s Pollinator program has been going strong since 2018, planting thousands of pollinator plants each year to create corridors for migrating insects, birds, and mammals.

The end of April marks the kickoff of planting season, where employees focus on filling medians and other spaces throughout the city.

The corridors planted through an urban area help keep the local ecosystem working by providing a pathway for pollinators to travel, rest, and feed.

“The more we plant, they’ll have more bloom time. So when pollinators come through that are migrating they’ll stop and do their thing but there are always slackers on the back end that need to come through as well so they’ll be able to have enough food that can keep their journey going too,” city of Harrisonburg Landscape Supervisor Mike Hott said.

Hott says part of the department’s five-year plan is to have every median blooming with pollinator habitats. He adds that residents can also create their own spaces at home, by planting plants like coneflowers or Black-eyed Susans.

“If you just have like a 6x6 piece of grass that you don’t feel like mowing you can turn any space into a pollinator area, I encourage everybody at least one somewhere in their yard,” Hott said.

Earlier this year, Harrisonburg’s pollinator program earned national recognition from the National Recreation and Park Association. It was highlighted as an example for other communities to follow around the country.