Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Jean Pocha

Planting for pollinators in Seeley


Jean Pocha, Pathfinder

Pollinators enjoying a sunflower.

SEELEY LAKE - The new Pollinator Garden, envisioned and designed by the Clearwater Resource Council (CRC), will be set up soon at Lindey's Prime Steak House. The purpose of the pollinator garden is to demonstrate what a pollinator garden is and provide education to the community to inspire people to include habitat for pollinators in their yards and gardens. The public kickoff celebration is Saturday, May 28 from 12 - 4 p.m.

Pollination is the process of moving pollen from one flower to another of the same species. This produces fertile seeds. Almost all flowering plants need to be pollinated. 

According to the US Forest Service brochure "Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden Using Native Plants," some plants are pollinated by wind or water and some are even self-pollinating. However, most flowering plants depend on bees, butterflies and other animals for pollination.

According to the Natural Resources and Conservation, pollinators are responsible for at least every third bite of food we eat. That is, approximately 75% of the world's flowering plants and 35% of our food crops rely on animal pollinators to reproduce. According to the Forest Service, threats to pollinator habitat have increased over the past 25 years due to the reduction in pollinator habitat from forest fires, flooding, pesticide use, habitat fragmentation and the spread of invasive species. 

CRC Executive Director Caryn Miske said the Seeley Lake area is low on pollinators. She said pollinators and people both benefit by enhancing pollinator habitat, part of her motivation for the project.

 The idea for the pollinator garden formed last year as Miske read more about the shrinking pollinator habitat. CRC's mission is to enhance, conserve, sustain and protect the natural resources and rural lifestyle of the Clearwater watershed area. Through the pollinator garden, CRC hopes to add the protection of pollinators to their list of natural resources that are under their umbrella.

Native plants will be planted in the pollinator garden. Plants will include paintbrush, clematis, bee plant, penstemon, harebells, sticky geranium, echinacea, blanket flower and showy milkweed.

"A pollinator garden certification program is part of the plan," said Miske. "If someone wants to have a certified pollinator garden, we'll provide them with information and then we'll go to their house and check it out for them to have a certified pollinator friendly garden."

Jean Pocha, Pathfinder

The Pollinator Garden is set up at Lindey's Prime Steak House.

The CRC pollinator garden will be tended by volunteers. High School summer interns will be assisting and CRC hopes others will be interested in volunteering as well. Pollinator monitoring will probably begin next year, said Miske. After three years CRC will review how the garden is doing in attracting pollinators and make any changes needed from there.

The kickoff celebration Saturday, May 28 will feature live music; presentations on beekeeping; how to establish a pollinator garden; a gardening question and answer session; a native plant sale; building pollinator houses; face painting and food and beverages for all. Everyone is encouraged to attend this free event.

For more information contact Miske at or 406-677-0069


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