A volunteer group that’s restoring a bird sanctuary along Old Stamford Road will request permission from town officials this week to create a gateway pollinator garden to the property.
To be located in a familiar traffic island near Mead Park’s little league fields, the pollinator garden is designed to provide habitat for pollinating insects as well as to educate the public about the importance of such native plantings, according to Chris Schipper, a member of the Friends of Bristow Park and Bird Sanctuary and chair of the New Canaan Conservation Commission.
A lone oak tree now stands in the traffic island, which some motorists have used for parking when Mead is busy. Plans drawn up by New Canaan-based landscape architecture firm Keith Simpson Associates call for native plantings such as viburnum, rudbeckia, milkweed and ferns.
The Friends group is pursuing a $10,000 matching fund grant from Sustainability CT to create a “pollinator pathway” at Bristow, and is more than halfway toward its goal (details and donation information here), Schipper said.
The Friends group is expected to go before the Parks & Recreation Commission at its regular meeting Wednesday night to get permission for the plantings. Schipper said two concerns that may come up are who will provide maintenance, such as watering and weeding (threes’ a water source at the nearby Mead Park Lodge), and whether the garden will attract more insects that sting.
“The answer is yes and no,” Schipper said. “Any time you have pollinators, there is a risk—if someone tries to grab a bumble bee, for instance—that they will get stung. But what normally stings people are what they call German yellow jackets or wasps, and they are more likely to be hanging around the garbage [bins] by the side of the tennis courts.”
The fundraiser for the matching $10,000 grant ends Oct. 15. Asked who will install the garden once approvals and funds are in hand, Schipper said the job likely would go out to bid.