What’s the Buzz? New Pollinator + Sensory Garden Coming Soon!

bee getting nectar from a yellow flower

We’re excited to share that the Library is installing a native pollinator and sensory garden onsite at our Administrative Center, located at 301 E. Olive St.! We broke ground on the project in early February with Blue Spruce Horticulture and are making steady progress rehabilitating and redesigning the land. The garden is expected to open in Summer 2024, and we’re planning all sorts of fun grand opening activities. Stay tuned!

“The garden is a wonderful opportunity for us to provide a healthy environment for pollinators while also extending library spaces outdoors for community programs and learning,” said Diane Lapierre, Poudre Libraries executive director.

The planned garden will feature 26 different native plant species, more than 380 individual plants, multiple ADA-height raised garden planters, benches, area for programs and events, and sensory elements like a fountain and wind chimes.

“This garden space will provide myriad benefits to both community members as well as the local ecology by providing a variety of ecosystem services, said Stuart Shoemaker, owner and founder of Blue Spruce Horticulture. “The plant species were selected for regional adaptability, providing food and habitat for insects, birds, and small mammals through wood, berries, foliage, and nectar. The sensory elements of the garden including wind chimes, grasses, and a boulder fountain will create an auditory experience while other plants will provide tactile and scent sensations.”

Deidre Hand, a library assistant at Poudre Libraries, pioneered the project and will help the garden bloom year-round. “We want to create an inclusive and accessible space for people of all ages to learn about the importance of pollinators, to inspire stewardship, and to bring the joy of nature and gardening to the community and our Old Town neighbors.”  

The garden is made possible by a Nature in the City grant from the City of Fort Collins.

“The Library’s vision aligned perfectly with the goals of the Nature in the City Program,” said Kate Rentschlar, Environmental Planner with the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas. “This project will increase native habitat for wildlife in the heart of our city while also providing easy access to nature for our community. We are especially excited that the Library will be actively using this space to expand their programming and really creating a hands-on experience for participants.”

mock up drawing of a garden

Native Pollinators

The Colorado Department of Agriculture reports that Colorado is home to a large and diverse community of native pollinators that consists of:

  • 946 species of native bees
  • 250 species of butterflies
  • Over 1,000 species of moths
  • 11 species of migrating hummingbirds
  • And wasps, beetles, and flies

The new Pollinator Garden will welcome hundreds of these pollinators. A mockup of the garden plans can be seen on the left. (Final garden plans are subject to change)

Hey Kids! Name the Garden!

Poudre Libraries invites kids ages 6-12 to submit a name for the garden anytime between Monday, April 15 and Sunday, May 5, 2024. Submissions can be done online or in-person in the children’s area of any of the three libraries locations. The winning name will be chosen by library staff and the winner will be notified by May 31.