The Cheshire Land Trust has received grants totaling $2,600 to support the Pollinator Pathway garden, which will provide pollinator habitat and showcase plants that the land trust recommends for home pollinator gardens. They are $2,000 from the Sarah M. Ferguson Fund of New Haven; $400 from Honees Cough Drops of Old Saybrook; and $200 from Cheshire’s First Congregational Church.
The Cheshire Land Trust’s Pollinator Pathway garden is located along the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail near the entrance to the Lock 12 Park on North Brooksvale Road. “The Pollinator Pathway addresses a critical call to action in response to global decimation of insect populations. We will install native flowers and grasses, the food and fuel sources for Monarch butterflies and other pollinators,” said CLT President Joy VanderLek.
Adds CLT Vice President Karen Schnitzer: “We are so grateful to everyone who has donated so far to the Pollinator Pathway garden, as well as to all who are planning to help out in the future, whether with funds, time and effort, or plants. With the community's help, we are going to build one heck of a Pollinator Pathway garden, which will be a big boost for our threatened native pollinators.”
Chuck Landrey, Vice President of Andre Prost Inc., which makes Honees cough drops, says his company’s donation “just seemed like a great fit. Without bees, our company wouldn’t be in business.” All Honees cough drops contain honey. The company has planted a pollinator-friendly garden of its own near its Old Saybrook offices.
Diane Visconti of Cheshire’s First Congregational Church explained that “after being educated by naturalists in the congregation and others, our Board of Outreach decided to donate to the Pollinator Pathway project. Think globally, act locally, and help bees do their essential work!”
The Sarah M. Ferguson Fund contributes to the causes that mattered most to Ms. Ferguson, who died in New Haven in 2011. Many of her favorite nonprofits were land trusts and other nature-preservation organizations.
Cheshire’s Pollinator Pathway garden is part of a larger environmental effort, says Joanna Giddings, Pollinator Pathway coordinator: “We hope that Cheshire residents will join us in a townwide effort to increase pollinator habitat by planting native plants in their own yards. Gardening for wildlife is a great way to teach kids about nature, and work with neighbors to improve our environment.”
“We are grateful to the Town of Cheshire for letting us place the Pollinator Pathway garden on town property,” Giddings says. “Without their cooperation we could not have such a prime location.”
Town Director of Parks and Recreation John Gawlak adds: “It was a win-win for Cheshire. While continuing to beautify our areas, the Land Trust creates and promotes an awareness of the critical need to support pollinating gardens.”
The Cheshire Land Trust maintains properties and trails for use by the public, promotes awareness of environmental issues and the importance of our natural resources by hosting hikes and educational workshops, and mentors local high school and college students, including UConn's Conservation Partners in Training through Natural Resources Conservation Academy. As of 2020, the Cheshire Land Trust protects forests and farms, wetlands and meadows, and the wildlife and native habitats within, for a total of almost 600 acres of open space in the town of Cheshire.
The Cheshire Land Trust is a 501(c)3 conservation non-profit.