The Pollinator Pathway
Insects are essential to human existence.
Welcome to the Glen Ridge Pollinator Pathway! We are a part of the larger undertaking to create a corridor of adjacent properties—private residences and public spaces—that provide safe habitat for birds, bees, butterflies, and other insects.
Our goal is to make Glen Ridge one big pollinator pathway with abundant native, pesticide-free plants in private, commercial, and municipal spaces. By joining with neighboring Montclair and Bloomfield, as well as several other north Jersey towns, Glen Ridge is helping to support our pollinator numbers and, in turn, improve the quality of our town's air, water, and soil. Together, we can turn Glen Ridge into a biodiverse oasis.
Exotic plants versus Native plants
Many of the plants that are most common in our yards are exotic plants from Asia and Europe. Hostas, forsythia, irises, daffodils, and many more popular plants, while beautiful, don't provide our pollinators with the food they require. Lawns are worst of all: these monocultures don't support any life and require pesticides, herbicides, watering, and mowing to maintain.
While it is not necessary to eliminate exotic plants completely, it is important that we reintroduce native plants to our yards to create more diverse ecosystems for our native insects. They are numerous, gorgeous, easy-to-maintain options available. The Native Plant Society of New Jersey and Jersey-Friendly Yards are great resources, as well as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center database. Google "native plant nurseries" to find a few options in NJ, or order native plants from Prairie Moon.
Instead of this, plant that:
Instead of English ivy or Japanese pachysandra,
plant Allegheny Spurge or Virginia creeper.
Instead of Japanese honeysuckle,
plant coral honeysuckle.
Instead of butterfly bush,
plant Summersweet or Butterflyweed.
Instead of Japanese wisteria,
plant American wisteria.
Instead of Spiraea,
plant New Jersey tea or Sweetspire.
Instead of Japanese barberry,
Ninebark, Winterberry, or Dwarf Witchalder.
Instead of Callery or Bradford pear trees,
plant Serviceberries or Eastern redbuds.