BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP)– Two state environmental agencies are partnering with nurseries to distribute native pollinator garden starter kits featuring plants and wildflower seeds native to Massachusetts.

The effort is part of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) third annual Growing Wild Massachusetts initiative to promote and preserve pollinators statewide.

DCR, along with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA), will also provide educational resources for residents on DCR’s website and social media channels while encouraging Bay State gardeners to share their pollinator progress on their own social channels using the hashtag #GrowWildMA. Kits are available now at 18 nursery and garden center locations across the state.  

Pollinators include bees, birds, bats, butterflies, and other species. Over 45 percent of agricultural commodities in Massachusetts rely on pollinator species for crop pollination and food production. Pollinator species are necessary for maintaining healthy, diverse ecosystems, and produce valuable products including honey, propolis, royal jelly, and wax. However, many pollinator species are struggling due to loss of forage and habitat, the spread of invasive plant and insect species, climate change, and improper use of pesticides.  

“Pollinators are a critical part of a vibrant ecosystem,” said MDAR Commissioner Ashley Randle. “We encourage Massachusetts residents to get involved and be an active part of the ecological system that produces our food and resources. We’re proud to once again be part of Growing Wild to help our residents support and preserve our environment.” 

“DCR is dedicated to supporting and enhancing the Commonwealth’s precious natural resources including our pollinators – which play an essential role in our efforts to maintain a healthy and thriving ecosystem,” said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “We are thrilled to be launching our third year of the Growing Wild initiative and we hope to inspire more families to take an active role in helping us preserve these important members of our ecology.”

Learn more about the Growing Wild Massachusetts movement, how to get involved, and register for the program at the Plant Something website.