A new mowing routine will soon be implemented by the Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department at a few local parks to help plant pollinators, such as birds, insects and small mammals.
Alfonso Leyva, Manhattan Parks and Rec. park planner, says the program, known as Pollinator Pockets, will consist of identifying areas of parks where workers can stop mowing for periods of the year so that native vegetation can grow back for the benefit of the local ecosystem.
“If existing vegetation is lacking pollinator vegetative diversity, we will overseed the area with a seed mixture,” Leyva said. “Now currently, the most visible parks where we are implementing this process is at Pioneer Park and Girl Scout Park.”
Areas of vegetation maintained by the Audubon Society and existing Pollinator Pockets in Manhattan are located at Northeast Community Park, Warner Memorial Park and Sojourner Truth Park.
Leyva says the end result of this project will be an educational document for the public.
“When this is all said and done, the final product is going to be a document which will be shared with the public and help educate on why the parks department is implementing the new maintenance regimen, specifying which parks will contain these Pollinator Pockets and identifying local businesses and organizations which the parks department has partnered with,” Leyva said.
The Manhattan Parks and Rec. Dept. also works with the Flint Hills Discovery Center and the Sunset Zoo to help plant pollinators.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, pollinators help more than 80 percent of the world’s flowering plants reproduce.