Native pollinator gardens installed on UArizona campus

May 3, 2023

The University of Arizona is committed to sustainability. Recently, the Office of Sustainability funded a project directed by E. Gornish (Cooperative Extension Specialist) and Carianne Funicelli (Strategic Habitat Enhancements) to replace either bare or grassy patches on the U of Arizona campus with native pollinator plants. The replacement of either dark bare patches that retain heat or non native grassy patches that require intense amounts of water will help reduce water needs throughout campus and address the urban heat island effect. Twenty five gardens were budgeted for and already, eight have been deployed with a total of 147 plants. Each garden is created by Carianne with a consideration for both local environmental characteristics as well as bloom times of installed plants with the goal of providing resources to pollinators throughout the year. On campus student groups, such as Myco Cats, the Ecological Restoration Club, and Students for Sustainability are involved with plant installation (See images). Outreach events, such as native plant painting and seedball workshops are planned in conjunction with the gardens for fall. These events will be open to the public. A public website will also be available soon. Data on each garden including species planted and local soil moisture and temperatures will be available on the website.