Newhallville promotes native plants and pollinators at “All Things Pollinators” event

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Newhallville residents and volunteers promote the propagation of plants native to the New England region to support the local ecosystem.


Collaborating journalist


James Steele, collaborating photographer

Plants native to the New England region are becoming increasingly rare. The effects of this disappearance ripple through the ecosystem, affecting not only the plants themselves, but also the insects that depend on the plants for their survival and the birds that feed on these insects.

At an awareness event last Saturday titled “All Things Pollinators,” organizer Doreen Abubakar called on several local and national environmentalists to help educate the Newhallville neighborhood and publicize their efforts. The event saw presentations by Jim Sirch and Victor Demasi, both Peabody Museum staff associates.

For Newhallville residents, the day was just one more step in a much larger effort to revitalize the neighborhood and improve the lives of neighborhood citizens.

“We really need to think, with declining wildlife populations, about how we can augment native plants back home,” Sirch said.

According to Sirch, New England’s native insect populations have declined rapidly in recent years. As humans have eliminated native plants in favor of turf, insects have fewer natural habitats to breed in. Fewer insects means fewer pollinators to help propagate the remaining plants, and a cycle of dwindling native New England wildlife has formed as a result.

“There’s an entomologist named Doug Tallamy and … his idea is to call it a local national park,” Sirch said. “Where if we’re all trying to increase biodiversity by planting native plants…we’re also going to help increase [insect] and bird populations.

Sirch’s presentation focused on promoting this idea.

He taught his audience a method of sowing seeds during the winter by planting them outdoors in nearly halved milk jugs, leaving only the handle. Many native New England plants must be sown during the winter in an environment like that imitated in the modified milk jug. Since the purchase of expensive seeding and cultivation equipment is probably not a priority for Newhallville residents, this technique helps provide an inexpensive, accessible and low-maintenance approach to developing a park. local national.

Several environmental groups and sponsors of the event also set up individual stands to raise awareness and promote good environmental practices.

One such environmental group is The Pollinator Pathway, which creates a network through cities to increase pathways for pollinators like bees, according to member Louise Washer.

The organization encourages citizens to adhere to three principles of lawn care: plant native plants, eliminate pesticides and redesign your lawn – the last of these principles acting as an umbrella term referring to a list of additional recommendations to encourage the growth of native lawns.

Wild Ones, another environmental group present at the event, promotes the practice of natural landscaping. According to their Connecticut chapter representative, Sue Stark, they aim to similarly promote biodiversity and the use of native plants in landscapes.

They encourage natural landscaping, which is a method of preserving local biodiversity by supporting native plant life. The Wild Ones effort spans the entire United States, but a chapter of the organization is based in New London, CT.

The event also hosted a very large selection of native plants for sale.

Over fifty different native plant species were available for purchase. The area dedicated to the sale of plants constituted the majority of the goods dedicated to the event.

The event is part of an effort to revitalize underserved neighborhoods in New Haven.

“The value of the project is…to have a location in Newhallville, which is one of the most underserved neighborhoods in New Haven, and employ local youth, and then mentor them for the duration of the project. “, declared Robin Ladouceur, one of the participants most familiar with the major neighborhood revitalization project.

The aforementioned young locals are paid interns. Their salary increases with the growth of experience and knowledge.

Some of these young employees obtain leadership positions within the revitalization project once they are more familiar with the routines and methods of plant propagation.

“We, as an outdoor nonprofit, are focused on what we can do to build that community,” said Doreen Abubakar, leader of the effort. “It, as you can see, brings very diverse groups of people into space. For my young people, the pride that people are here and they’re not afraid of it…gives them a base on how to interact with the public.

Abubakar also plans to construct a 14ft by 30ft pavilion opposite the event. It is intended to be a multifunctional central location for the community where workshops can be held. She also hopes to set up a restaurant there for Newhallville.

The event took place at 133 Hazel Street, New Haven.

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