We have heard time after time about the declining bee population across the nation. One group is showing us how they are fighting the decline with underused land.
“We are losing pollinators at a horrific rate. Not only in this country, but all over the world,” said Jackie Arbuckle.
Arbuckle is the grand administrator for Rock Point in Burlington. She believes stewardship of the land is a top priority. In 2011, Rock Point installed 35 tracking solar panels on two and a half acres of land. Now they have a plan for the field it sits in.
“The Episcopal General Convention, which is the national governance of the church created the ‘Care for Creation Approach’ and funded it,” she said.
This past June, Rock Point was awarded ten thousand dollars to turn a field of invasive species into a beautiful meadow for pollinators.
“It has to include not only the pollinator meadow, but a formation or Christian education approach,” she said.
Rock Point will be an example to other’s with solar farms and fields, reusing the land in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Tilling began on Tuesday, and Arbuckle hopes to till the land two to three more times. This will allow the tiller to remove any invasive that grows back. Late this fall they will plant a cover crop of milkweed to protect the land.
She goes on to explain it will take nearly a decade of growth and weeding before the meadow is self sustainable. A meadow of this size will draw more pollinators to the area, which will help in the development of plants and soil health.
“We are planting a diversity of plants that is the larva host species for those butterflies, the shelter for some of those insects and also the substance,” said Mike Kiernan from ‘Bee the Change‘.
He and his team are tasked with planting the native plants, this is the 7th field in Vermont they have worked on since 2015. In his experience this should lead to impressive results in terms of pollinators returning.
“Thirty seven unique pollinators encounters in 15 minutes, last year 174 walking the same path in the same amount of time,” he said.
Jackie Arbuckle encourages everyone to take part in this venture, and you can reach her here: click here.