In early October, Aristeo broke ground on a new project – one right outside our headquarters in Livonia, Michigan. A team of employee volunteers took a few hours of their time to dig up and plant Aristeo’s very own Pollinator Garden.
This garden, inspired by our long-time client DTE Energy, comprises all native trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses and will serve as resting place for pollinators as they migrate, search for food, and nest. Our goal is to maintain and monitor this garden and achieve Conservation Certification through the Wildlife Habitat Council.
Aristeo chose to create a Pollinator Garden because local pollinators, such as bees, bats, butterflies, and ants, have slowly suffered from population decline caused by loss of habitat and diseases. However, they play an important role in our native ecosystems and agricultural systems:
- Pollinators Sustain Our Agriculture: Approximately 1,000 of the plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, and medicines need to be pollinated by animals in order to produce the goods on which we rely.
- Pollinators Supply the Food Chain: Wild animals rely on pollinators for the production of food sources.
- Pollinator Habitats Benefit Other Species: Many animals utilize the same habitat as pollinator species and benefit from concentrated efforts to develop and preserve said habitat.
Our garden, a 1,300 square feet plot of land in front of our parking lot, features plants native to Michigan and specifically chosen to have the most impact on pollinator species, including (but not limited to):
- Flowering Dogwood
- Butterfly Weed
- Wild Columbine
- Purple Giant Hyssop
- Purple Coneflower
- Ox-Eye Sunflower
- Dense Blazingstar
- Wild Bergamot
- Showy Goldenrod
- New England Aster
Earlier this fall, our team dug up the sod, built up a berm of topsoil, planted dozens of plants, and mulched the garden. In the spring of 2018, we will host another volunteer day for spring maintenance, including weeding and re-mulching if necessary.
Aristeo will also be hosting an educational session to teach our employees and their families about the importance of pollinators. The garden will include labels for each plant species – and will provide a spot for employees to monitor and keep track of when pollinator species are spotted.
Thanks to DTE Energy for the inspiration to take on this important project – and special thanks to Nativescape for their help in acquiring native plants and designing the garden. Stay tuned for updates next spring as we watch our garden come to life!