Neighbors create pollinator pathway

Two Nashvillians are attempting to reintroduce native plants to the region.
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 6:14 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Roughly 3 billion birds have died in the last 50 years in Tennessee.

“It’s because we don’t have the insects to feed the bird babies,” said David Hitt, a Tennessee naturalist.

It’s a problem for humans because, in nature, we are all connected.

“Biodiversity is decreasing each year and, not only that, but it’s decreasing at a faster and faster rate,” said Hitt.

Hitt said, what’s needed are native plants, and they have to be close together so the birds, bees, bugs, and butterflies can all get where they need to go.

“You can’t have islands separated by deserts,” said Hitt.

This is why Dr. Bieke Puncochar is now buzzing about her new pollinator pathway.

“Basically, we are inviting the wildlife into our yards,” said Puncochar.

Puncochar and a friend bought a bunch of plant plugs so they could get them at discounted rates. They then sold them to about fifty of their East Nashville neighbors.

“And the idea was, ‘Oh my gosh, what if we could get more people involved and everyone can kind of help make this pollinator highway across town,’” said Puncochar.

They hope, as everyone is doing their planting this Spring, they will consider something native.

“The more pollinator spots we have, the more we can support life,” said Puncochar.

They also hope to continue the movement with their next planting in the Fall.

“We don’t have to wait for these big changes to happen because it feels like we can make big changes, each one of us,” said Puncochar.

The group “Neighbors for Native Plants” will be posting their Fall sign-up sheet on their Instagram account: @neighbors4nativeplants.