Ridgewood Roundup

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Geneseo Republic

There are five pollinator plots growing around the Village of Cambridge and the honey bees are buzzing around them. They are located as you come into town on Route 81 on the east end of the Village, on the east side of the Henry County Fairgrounds, at College Square Park, the water treatment plant, and the newest plot is a half of an acre planted on the west side of the Cambridge FFA plot on first street.

The purpose of the plots is to provide a habitat for pollinating insects including honey bees. One third of all agricultural crops are dependent on pollinators and according to the Cambridge FFA these efforts will more than double the pollinator population around Cambridge.

The program is sponsored by GROWMARK FS who have sponsored and supported twenty five acres of pollination plots throughout the Midwest including the plots in Cambridge.

The plots consist of up to nineteen different types of flowers both perennial and annual. These types include Purple Coneflowers, Forget Me Nots, and various types of Poppies.

The Cambridge FFA assisted with this program initially by distributing bags of pollinator seeds. It’s goal was to distribute forty one pound bags of seed, however, the chapter exceeded that goal by passing out fifty two bags of seeds which provides over twelve acres of pollinator habitat. This past spring the chapter turned their attention to creating their own pollinator plot by the existing agriculture plot at the school. Members tilled the ground, spread seeds, and arewaiting patiently for the plot to develop.

While the primary purpose of this project is to provide habitat for pollinators but to alsoeducate people on the importance of how conservation and habitat helps agriculture. Thehabitat planted encourages biodiversity which impacts both farms but also local gardens which also rely on pollinators for production of tomatoes, potatoes, and other crops.