Harford County Pollinator Gardens Trail launched

Sep. 6—Harford Land Trust hosted a celebration launch of the Pollinator Gardens Trail Saturday at the Harford County Agricultural Center in Street.

The celebration featured educational lectures by local environmental organizations, refreshments and family-friendly activities.

"Modeled after the Barn Quilt and other trails, the Pollinator Gardens Trail identifies many publicly accessible native plant gardens located in Harford County that specialize in attracting pollinators," said Harford County Master Gardener Steve O'Brien.

Seven public pollinator gardens have been approved for the tour and at least 20 more gardens will be evaluated over the next year for inclusion on the trail, O'Brien said.

The Pollinator Gardens Trail is part of the county's Grow Wild initiative. Harford Land Trust launched the Grow Wild program in June in partnership with the University of Maryland Extension, Harford County Master Gardeners, Susquehannock Wildlife Society and Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, with grant funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Harford County Government. The Grow Wild program encourages Harford residents to reduce grass lawns in favor of native pollinator plants to help nature flourish, according to a news release from Harford Land Trust.

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The Morning Sun

Turf grass accounts for 12.8% or 31,000 acres of land cover in Harford County, according to a recent Chesapeake Bay Program report based on 2018 aerial imagery. The U.S. Department of Labor's 2022 American Time Use Survey determined the average American spends around 70 hours on lawn care per year, according to the news release.

"Converting even a small part of your yard to native pollinator plants helps reduce runoff and improve our environment," said County Executive Bob Cassilly. "My administration is proud to support Grow Wild and I encourage Harford County residents to learn more about this exciting new program."

Grow Wild provides tools and resources for landowners, especially in urban and suburban residential communities of Harford County, to convert at least a portion of their yards to more natural space. The program aims to create the conditions for nature to thrive, reestablish natural processes to repair ecosystems, and boost biodiversity, the release said.

As part of Grow Wild, Harford County Master Gardeners are also launching a pollinator garden certification program.

For more information on upcoming event dates and locations, visit growwildharford.org.