Summer is in Full Bloom at the Mountain Lake PBS Pollination Station!

Third year’s the charm as the Mountain Lake PBS Pollination Station bursts with life on the lawn of 1 Sesame Street—our home base in Plattsburgh, NY.

Pollinator-friendly plants in three honeycomb shaped garden beds provide food in summer and shelter during winter for butterflies, birds, and bees. After two years of tender love and care, we are proud that our garden is thriving in 2023!

This year, we tended to our variety of native plant species by giving the dead stalks a quick haircut at the end of the fall followed by frequent weeding, occasional watering, and our signature of bunny deterrent: shiny, metallic pinwheels. In the spring, we installed a brand-new metal post that will withstand the wind and rain, proudly holding up our Adirondack Pollinator Project sign.

By early summer, the purple flowers of the Wild Blue Phlox dotted the garden beds bursting with color and life. While these beautiful bloomers have already faded into the summer season the Nodding Onions are growing bigger by the day, Great Blue Lobelia is becoming hearty and tall, and our Swamp Milkweed is developing buds where flowers will soon grow. Last year’s additions of Spotted Bee Balm and Cardinal Flower have established deep root systems and are holding their own next to the creeping stalks of Clustered Mountain Mint.

As the summer marches on we are looking forward to even more new additions to the garden. We’re preparing to install a fourth garden bed complete with a variety of new pollinator plant species—from Helen’s Flower to Golden Ragwort—generously donated by AdkAction! Once that’s complete we will be adding identification labels next to each species, helping visitors to the garden identify and learn about all the native plants they see.

We’re all abuzz as our buds blossom, awaiting the flying, hopping, or walking visitors who decide to pop by! Be sure to check back in for more updates on the Pollination Station with our Learn & Play blog and on social media.

In the meantime, keep scrolling to learn more about what pollinator gardens are, how you can start your very own, and activities to encourage a passion for gardening and environmental stewardship in your family.

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What Is a Pollinator Garden?

A pollinator garden features flowers that provide nectar or pollen to a variety of pollinating insects, like bees, butterflies and moths. Native flowering plants – ones that come from the geographic area a garden is in – are best, and pesticides and other chemicals should be avoided when caring for them. In the Adirondacks this could include bee balm, milkweed, white turtlehead, mountain mint, and phlox. These gardens are beautiful and can help attract birds and other wildlife too!

Interested in starting your own pollinator garden but don’t know how? Sign up below to receive a free packet of wildflower seeds from the Adirondack Pollinator Project, courtesy of AdkAction.

The Adirondack Pollinator Project

The Adirondack Pollinator Project helps promote the health of pollinators in our ecosystem, provides resources to become a pollinator advocate, and helps communities plant more local wildflowers to help supply pollinators with the food sources they need to survive and thrive. AdkAction partners with The Wild Center, Northern New York Audubon, and Paul Smiths College to support ongoing activities of the Adirondack Pollinator Project.

As part of the project’s Pollinator Garden Assistance Program, AdkAction uses their Mobile Pollinator Garden Trailer to plant community-scale pollinator gardens around the Adirondacks—including the one at Mountain Lake PBS! Schools, libraries, hospitals, municipal parks, and other community sites are eligible to apply to receive a garden.

Activities, Books & More

Pollinator Pathway Game

Grades PreK-3
In this all-new Nature Cat game, collect nectar for pollinators like bumblebees and butterflies to help them get the energy they need! Learn some nature-tastic facts all about pollinators and the big part they play in our environment along the way.

Gardening With Kids: How It Affects Your Child’s Brain, Body and Soul

Grades PreK-3
Planting a garden can affect not only your child’s body but also their brain and soul.

Flight of the Pollinators | Wild Kratts

Grades K-2
Join Chris and Martin as they explore the process of pollination and learn the important partnership between plants and animals. Watch these video clips to see how the Kratt brothers uncover the amazing delivery system of plants and their animal partners.

Best Gardening Books for Kids

Grades PreK-6
Inch by inch, row by row, learn to make your garden grow! Browse through these seed-filled reads and explore the outdoors through books.

Reclaiming Habitat for Honeybees

Grades 6-8
Explore the role of pollinators in the ecosystems they are a part of. In this interactive lesson, develop a written response to one of three questions about the importance of honeybees. Gather evidence from reading assignments and video segments about Coal Country BeeWorks’ efforts to reclaim surface mining sites.

Pollination and Community Action: Middle Schoolers Build a Pollinator Garden | Mountain Lake Journal

Grades 6-12
A group of middle school students in the Adirondacks get their hands dirty building a pollinator garden on school property. Follow along as the students learn about the importance of pollinators, pollinator plants, and community action.

For past updates on our Pollination Station, check out our other buzzworthy posts!