| By Natalie Mousa
IDEAS For Us installed a beautiful Pollinator Garden on Sunday, July 25, 2021 at the Hindu Society of Central Florida. Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who came out to help! IDEAS For Us is advancing sustainability around the world by empowering communities to implement local solutions to global environmental problems, such as this Pollinator Garden.
At IDEAS For Us, we believe that in order to create long-lasting change, environmental action projects and programs must be educational and community-led. Over the weekend, we helped combat the devastation of pollinator populations through the installation of an educational community garden at the Hindu Temple of Central Florida.
This was one of our many projects aimed at countering climate change. Other projects by IDEAS For Us include the creation of floating aquatic wetlands, waterway cleanups, community garden builds, native landscaping projects, massive tree planting projects, and clean energy training events. Thousands of our volunteers have taken action in over 30 countries around the world to help us fulfill our environmental projects.
Pollinator gardens are “designed to attract bees, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, bats, and even hummingbirds.”1 These animals are crucial to the ecosystem because they make it possible for our food and flowers to grow.
“Much [of the] pollinator habitat has been lost to agriculture, resource extraction, and urban and suburban development.”1 These species face environmental challenges due to climate change as well, making it all the more important to restore their habitats.
Restoring the habitat for pollinators is accomplished by selecting the correct native plants to grow for the local populations of bees and butterflies. IDEAS For Us selected 13 different Florida Native Plants for the Hindu Society Pollinator Garden.
Pollinator plants also absorb harmful pollutants in the environment through their leaves and roots. This can range from air, soil, and water pollution.
Lastly, pollinator plants help control unwanted insects. They increase the biodiversity of the surrounding environment to naturally “manage pests in your yard.”2
Native Pollinator Plants “are plants indigenous to a given area in geologic time.”3 They are responsible for 75% of crop production.4 Without pollinator plants, farming in a healthy food production system would be difficult.
These plants also provide shelter for other species. They are also easy to grow in the native climate as they are adapted to the native temperature and soil.
No pesticide use is necessary for these plants, thus bettering the overall environment and preserving the quality of the soil.5
IDEAS planted over 150 plants, creating a thriving habitat for pollinators as well as a beautiful garden for visitors to appreciate the beauty of native florida wildflowers, while also learning about how they benefit the environment.
Some of the pollinator plants planted were Coreopsis, Native Milkweed, Blanket Flower, Black Eyed Susan, Dotted Horsemint, Salvia, Tickseed, Calamint, Coontie, Firebush, Butterfly Weed , and Southern Magnolia Trees. All of these plants attract pollinators and create an environmentally proactive garden which isn’t just beautiful, but also a haven for pollinators.
The Magnolia Tree flowers are loved by bees and the pinecone provides food for squirrels, rabbits, and birds alike. IDEAS also donated a bird house feeder to increase attraction to the garden.
IDEAS emphasizes different opportunities to contribute to and observe habitat restoration on our Instagram and Facebook. Volunteers at the event directly contributed to restorative environmental efforts.
We opened the event to people of all ages to volunteer. During the event, IDEAS staff members educated the volunteers on how to help install the garden.
This event invited a multi-generational population to help lead a multifaceted community effort which aims to tackle pressing environmental issues while also creating a tranquil community space to be enjoyed by all.
The Hindu Temple of Central Florida is located at 1994 Lake Dr. ,Casselberry, Florida 32707, built in 2005. The temple has become an integral part of the Hindu community in terms of religion, congregation, philosophies and spiritual traditions.
The mutual goal between IDEAS For Us and The Hindu Society of Central Florida was to create a welcoming and educational public space where all visitors to the Temple grounds can learn more about the importance of pollinator gardens, while also attracting new visitors to the temple grounds to learn about and support the community work of the Hindu Temple.
The community of this Hindu Temple worked with IDEAS For Us to create an ecological haven for pollinators on their temple grounds. This benefits the local environment and provides a therapeutic space to think and pray.
AARP is a Life Insurance Program for those over the age of fifty. IDEAS was awarded these funds as part of their AARP Community Challenge. One of IDEAS’ goals in this project is to directly involve older adults in the installation of this garden. By collaborating with the Hindu Temple of Central Florida, this was possible. We appreciate their willingness to help make this goal possible!
IDEAS hosts a number of projects each month aimed at combating climate change. Check out our EventBrite to find ways to volunteer.
Planting a pollinator garden has never been easier. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services has an easy guide on how to plant your own garden.