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Pollinator garden puts the ‘bee’ in UAB

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  • April 26, 2018

Campus is now friendlier to pollinators — animals that assist plants in their reproduction, such as some species of bees, birds and butterflies — after the installation of a new pollinator garden at the UAB Mini Park this past Friday.

Faculty, staff and students, along with President Ray Watts, donned their gardening gloves and sunscreen to help with the project, which was developed through the UAB Sustainability Investment Fund for student-led initiatives. Sarah Glover, a senior in biology, proposed the garden as a way to create a more welcoming environment for pollinators.

“Pollinators are not only needed for the majority of our agricultural products, but they also help to sustain native ecosystems,” Glover wrote in her proposal. “Including plants that are particularly beneficial for pollinators in the landscaping around campus will help support the surrounding ecosystem and also create a haven for pollinators.”

Click through the below slideshow to see snapshots of the pollinator garden installation.

  • Eight different types of plant species were planted during the pollinator garden installation: milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), purple Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum), bee balm (Monarda fistulosa), rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia tribola), little bluestem (Schizachysium scoparium), Autumn Joy sedum (Sedum spectabile) and blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum).]
  • "It's always nice to see bees and butterflies around campus when certain flowers are planted, so I thought it would be good to have a place that is designed specifically with pollinators in mind," said Sarah Glover, pictured working in the pollinator garden. "Now we will have them around throughout the whole year, because the plants chosen for the garden cover all the seasons pollinators might be active.
  • Dr. Watts planting: Watts is an avid gardener himself. “I like to grow beautiful things,” he told “UAB Magazine” in 2013.

    “I’ll look outside at night, and he’ll be out there,” his wife, Nancy, told the publication. “He has a vision, and then he just creates.”
  • UAB Sustainability, along with UAB Facilities, has worked to plan the landscape, prepare the location for planting and select suitable plant species for pollination. The Facilities Grounds Department will maintain the garden.

    “It's so important to give students the opportunity to contribute ideas to their own campus,” said Julie Price, manager of UAB Sustainability. “Through this program, students have a sense of ownership over the projects and get to take the relevance of these projects with them into their professions.”