Planting Flowers For Pollinators In Unusual Places
This is something that I think could be brought up more.
The tidy rows of gleaming solar panels at Pine Gate Renewables facility in southwestern Oregon originally sat amid the squat grasses of a former cattle pasture. But in 2017 the company started sowing the 41-acre site with a colorful riot of native wildflowers. The shift was not merely aesthetic; similar projects at a growing number of solar farms around the country aim to help reverse the worrying declines in bees, butterflies and other key pollinating species observed in recent years.
And as pollinator habitat wanes, solar installations are taking up ever more land. The U.S. is expected to convert six million acres of land to such facilities before 2050, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Some researchers see this as an opportunity to reclaim land for pollinating species by replacing the usual grass or gravel at these sites with wildflowers that need insects to pollinate them, and that produce the nectar those insects eat. “If we can create some habitat where there wasn’t habitat before, like on solar farms, we can likely have a positive impact,” says Scott McArt, an entomologist at Cornell University.
Almost all of us work, and we often work at places that could have flowering plants around their buildings. They don't and chose to put mostly evergreen bushes, which are easy to maintain as a way to bring a little Life to an otherwise sterile place. I wonder how easy it would be to convince the owners and managers of our workplace, to allow us to add flowers to the mix? I'll have to try that this Spring.
Question then, what kind of wildflowers would be best to perhaps spread the seeds of among the bushes? It would have to be something that didn't get too high, and would bloom most of the Spring and Summer. Would be cheaper to just spread the seeds but not that hard to start indoors too.