As part of its coverage leading up to Earth Day 2022, CBS News visited Norwalk, Connecticut, to share the success of the Pollinator Pathway project.
Focusing on the value of lower-impact yard care, the 2-minute segment explores how the local effort to eliminate yard pesticides and increase the use of native plants to create corridors of pollinator-friendly spaces in Fairfield and Westchester counties has grown into a national phenomenon.
Featured in the segment are movement founders Louise Washer of the Norwalk River Valley Watershed Association and Donna Merrill, a member of the Wilton, CT, Conservation Commission and former Executive Director of the Wilton Land Conservation Trust. Started in 2017 when both were members of the Hudson to Housatonic RCP (H2H) it became an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit this year. Their mission: “Establishing pollinator-friendly habitats and food sources for bees, butterflies and birds.”
The Pollinator Pathway now has the participation of more than 300 communities nationwide. “It is seeding all over the United States,” says Merrill. “It’s moving into the Midwest, into the Northwest, into the Southeast. I think we are really changing something.”
They emphasize that small steps can, in fact, make a difference. “People read about the ‘insect apocalypse’ and bee decline,” says Washer, “This is something positive. This is something you can do.”
The Pollinator Pathway invites people to join the movement by committing to some basic pollinator-friendly behaviors, literally in their own back yards – whether urban, suburban, or rural.
The commitment is simple. Anyone can join by taking these steps:
- Adding native pollinator-friendly plants – anywhere from one pollinator-friendly tree or planter, to a small pollinator garden, to a full meadow
- Subtracting a little lawn (cut high or reduce the size)
- Avoiding the use of pesticides and lawn chemicals