(Worlds First!) Certified Municipal Pollinator District
The City of Manitou Springs proudly announces its distinction as the world's first certified municipal Pollinator DistrictTM, through an innovative partnership with Butterfly Pavilion (BP), showcasing the community's unwavering commitment to protecting and preserving vital pollinators. This remarkable achievement is the result of a collaborative effort by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, the Manitou Pollinators, dedicated community volunteers, and numerous other contributors. Manitou Springs sets an inspiring example for cities worldwide by championing the cause of pollinator conservation and leading the way in sustainable community development.
Pollinators such as honey bees, native bees and butterflies are vital to the human production of food and the reproduction of native plants. Over the past few decades habitat destruction, chemical pollution, parasites, and pathogens have significantly decreased their numbers. In response to these challenges, BP has created Pollinator Districts™, communities designed to conserve and improve habitat for pollinators in all aspects of development and operation. These Districts engage all the people that live, work, and play in these spaces, encouraging them to experience nature and build a greater appreciation for these critical species and their habitats.
All of us rely on pollinators such as bees and butterflies for the food we eat and the health of our ecosystems, and all of us can make a positive impact on pollinator conservation through our daily actions. Butterfly Pavilion uses our scientific expertise to collaborate with communities such as Manitou Springs to ensure a brighter future for pollinators, people, and other living things.
-Amy Yarger, Director of Horticulture, Butterfly Pavilion
Recognizing the significance of pollinators and the urgent need to safeguard their habitats, the City of Manitou Springs, in partnership with BP, embarked on a remarkable journey. With the support and dedication of the Manitou Pollinators and passionate volunteers, the vision of a certified municipal pollinator district became a reality.
Manitou Springs has transformed its landscapes into flower- and native-plant-rich environments, creating a haven for butterflies, bees, and other essential pollinators. Through the incorporation of rain gardens, bio-swales, green roofs, public common areas, and residential developments, the city has seamlessly integrated pollinator-friendly enhancements into various green spaces.
In the Pollinator District, enhancements are integrated into engineered green spaces such as rain gardens, bio-swales, green roofs, public common areas and residential development. Elements of Pollinator District include:
- Research - Establishing a baseline of pollinator diversity and understanding challenges in the area of interest.
- Habitat restoration - Restoring open spaces with native shrubs and wildflowers to provide nutrition for pollinators.
- Habitat gardening - Building gardens that more closely resemble natural habitat, including a variety of native flowering plants and shrubs, open ground and a passive water source.
- Beekeeping - Providing aspiring beekeepers in the community with training on how to keep bees through sustainable techniques.
- Public education and engagement - Educating diverse audiences on pollinator conservation topics through volunteer opportunities, workshops, classes, public events and more.
- Sustainability - Prioritizing sustainable design, construction and maintenance practices that conserve water and soil and preserve native plant communities whenever possible.