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If there was ever a place, in my mind, that could legitimately be referred to as “sanctuary”, it would be at the corner of Broadway and Pratt on the city’s East Side. As of late, I have been on a rampage, to spread the good word of pollinator gardens. Then suddenly, lo and behold, I came across an absolutely incredible example, that stretched out over the length of an entire city block.

Along the Broadway side, there were signs that broadcasting “pollinator zone” and “pollinator habitats”. I almost couldn’t contain myself, I was so excited. After wandering around the outskirts of the garden, I managed to bump into a neighbor, who told me that the garden has helped to transform the block, and the neighborhood on all sides. “Two years ago, this was a barren lot,” he told me. “One lady has managed to turn the whole thing around.”

The image inset on right shows an overhead of the block before work commenced.

One lady! This “one lady” should be commended for her efforts. The pollinator garden has even extended across the street, to another property that she owns. Incredible. There are composte piles, hops vines, swarms, indigenous plant life, pollinators… the compound is delightful. It’s also crucially important. As pollinating insect colonies continue to suffer at the hands of mega corporations such as Monsanto, we have heroes among us who are creating essential sanctuaries.

Taking a look at the amount of work/love that has gone into this magnificent pollinator garden, it’s hard to imagine that one person could be so crafty. But it takes an eye to understand what’s going on here. Where many people might look at this and say, “Where’s the manicured lawn and the pretty flowers?”, this, to me, is a sight for sore eyes. It’s what nature intended. Everything is there for a purpose. Everything is natural. Everything is beautiful. I could have stood there all day, examining the various elements of the compound, listening to the crickets and the cicadas, and watching life unfold.

My hope is that people pass by this inspirational spot, and stop to think about a simpler time, when it wasn’t about chemical lawn care and pristinely manicured gardens. To me, this is not only organically beautiful, it’s absolutely necessary. The next time that you pass by a trophy garden, see what sort of life is actually occurring. Then, take a walk through a pollinator garden and witness a world of life that is absolutely mesmerizing. That’s why it’s so important to remember to plant indigenous species… and don’t forget the milkweed!

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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