About Us is About the Pollinators

WHO WE ARE

Rochester Pollinators is a committee that was originally formed to save the Monarch butterfly. We discovered that it is an ecologically solvable problem that we can all do in our own yards. Today we have expanded to save all of the native pollinators, birds and other wildlife by restoring native plants to local and municipal landscapes.

Committee Members, (l to r) Amber Quesenberry, Stephanie Smith, Marilyn Trent and Jane Giblin

Marilyn Trent founded Rochester Pollinators in 2019 when she learned that the Monarch butterfly was in decline by up to 90% in the past 20 years. She proposed to the City of Rochester that they could add milkweed and other native plants in the current landscaping. It was approved! The Rochester Pollinators group was formed and they became a committee of the Rochester City Beautiful Commission. The committee is self-sustaining by raising funds through native plant sales, selling swag at Etsy and Bizzy Buzz Artisan Market in Downtown Rochester. has over 60 passionate pollinator enthusiasts and committed volunteers who help us fulfill our mission.

Over the past 3 years the hundreds of people have begun to grow native plants, trees and shrubs in their yards. The City of Rochester has 5 native plant gardens and a restored prairie remnant.

WHAT WE DO

  • Give away 100's of milkweed plants at the Downtown Rochester Farmers' Market
  • Plant pollinator gardens in the City of Rochester
  • We have 5 pollinator gardens in Rochester and 1 prairie remnant
  • We have a presentation series


  • Promote & advocate for conservation & sustainability at city and regional events
  • Manage & maintain a seed library at Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve


  • Maintain a Facebook and Instagram channel with 1,500+ followers
  • Send out bi-monthly newsletters to 1,000+ subscribers

HOW WE RAISE FUNDS

  • Sell native plants at Downtown Rochester Farmers' Market early summer and fall. You can (pre-order native plants here) 3 weeks before each sale
  • Sell swag at Bizzy Buzz Artisan Market, Downtown Rochester
  • Sell swag on Etsy

PRESENTING & SUPPORTING SPONSOR

  • Trent Creative

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM
WE ARE LOSING OUR VALUABLE POLLINATORS.

Butterflies and other pollinators have experienced significant declines across the globe. The Monarch butterfly population alone has decreased up to 75%–90% depending upon the year.

Why are these pollinators declining?
Pollinators are being threatened by a number of factors:

  • Habitat Loss: 40 million acres of lawn has replaced natural habitats because they lack the native plants to support pollinators
  • Plant Choices: decline of important native host plants for feeding and breeding due to invasive exotic plants and bacteria/viral infections that are brought by alien species
  • Pesticides: use of pesticides (Neonicitinoids is a particularly dangerous one and you can learn more here)
  • Herbicides: like Round-Up (residential sales ends 2023)
  • Invasive Species: Plants that cause environmental harm because of their aggressive nature
  • New Diseases
  • Weather: effects associated with climate change


WHY SAVE THE POLLINATORS?
ONE-THIRD OF OUR FOOD SUPPLY IS DEPENDENT UPON POLLINATION.

Food:
Many of our favorite foods such as apples, avocados, cherries, almonds, blueberries, lemons and much more are made possible by insects. If they were to disappear foods would become rare and expensive. 

WHAT WOULD WE MISS?
Nearly 90% of all flowering plants, including many fruit and 1/3 of our vegetable crops, benefit from pollinators. This means that most of our favorite foods would either totally disappear or be extremely rare and expensive.Some of these items include:

• Honey
• Avocados
• Cherries
• Coffee
• Apple Pie
• Almonds
• Blueberries
• Tomatoes
• Squash
• Chocolate

THE BENEFITS OF NATIVE PLANTS 

NATIVE PLANTS:


  • Very low-maintenance
  • Less mowing reduces 
air pollution
  • Saves money with less mowing, less water & no herbicides or pesticides (they don't need them and it kills pollinator insects)
  • They are perennials and grow back each year
  • They need no herbicides and pesticides 
  • They have deep roots which:
    • Helps filter out pollutants
    • Decreases soil compaction
    • Needs less water (drought resistant)
    • Soaks up 90% more 
water than turf grass
    • Increases carbon sequestration
  • They feed our local pollinators, birds and us!

Low Maintenance:

These amazing plants have adapted to our natural landscapes. Due to their deep roots they require less watering than non-native species. Once established in your garden, they require very little maintenance, and they come back every year. Less mowing creates less pollution.

Water Quality:

A typical lawn absorbs only 10% of the amount of storm water that a natural landscape can absorb. With 45% of Michigan residents getting their water from ground water and the number one pollutant is storm water. By planting native plants, shrubs and trees, each of need to do our part. Native plants have long roots, they clean toxins, mitigate soil erosion and soil compaction.

Healthy & Safe:

These plants are healthy for the pollinators and are healthy for you. Suburban lawns on average have 10 times more chemical pesticides than farms. Native plants are better adapted to our climate and eliminate the need for toxic chemicals. Thus providing a safe environment for our wildlife and families.

Doug Tallamy explains the reason we need our native plants for the survival of the planet.

YOU CAN HELP—IT'S EASY!
We can save our pollinators all Year Round!

 
This is an ecologically solvable problem that you can remedy in your own backyard. All you need to do is plant a pollinator garden with Michigan native plants and restore the natural habitat for all of our wildlife. Because the plants are native to Michigan, they grow back each year, they don't need pesticides and very little water once they are established.

The most effective way you can help is by planting a pollinator-friendly garden that has milkweed for the Monarchs to lay their eggs. There are many native plants that also nourish and are serve as host plants for other butterflies, bees, humming birds, and pollinators. Make sure you plant true Michigan native plants as that is the issue. Many non-natives don't have the nectar that our native pollinators need to survive.

MISSION

Rochester Pollinators mission to provide education and resources to preserve the Monarch butterfly and pollinator population. By reintroducing Michigan native plants into local landscapes including home gardens, businesses and municipal landscapes, we can help our local pollinators flourish!