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Harrisonburg: Continued efforts to be The Friendly (Pollinator) City

Pollinator project 1
Keith Thomas, stormwater compliance specialist, and Chelsea Trice, with the Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, plant near Court Square in Downtown Harrisonburg. Photo courtesy City of Harrisonburg.

Some 4,000 pollinator plants that have been lying in wait in city greenhouses are making their debut across Harrisonburg this week, as the city’s Public Works Department continues efforts to make Harrisonburg The Friendly (Pollinator) City.

Crews began planting the pollinator plants in the City’s Downtown area this week. Chosen plants are all native species, and include Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Coreopsis, Agastache, Monarda and Salvia.

The ultimate goal is to create a pollinator corridor throughout the entire city, complete with a self-guided map of all Downtown pollinator spaces for people to enjoy.

“We really wanted to focus on Downtown and the surrounding streets right now, especially with everyone struggling due to COVID-19 and looking for ways to still get outside and enjoy spring,” Jeremy Harold, Harrisonburg Green Space Manager, said. “We are busy installing plants while the streets are quiet with hope that the flowers will help brighten everyone’s spirit once they are able to begin visiting Downtown again hopefully soon.”

Pollinators – like moths, butterflies, hummingbirds, bats and bees – are a vital part of the production of most fruits, nuts and berries, and 90 percent of the world’s wild plants depend on pollinators to reproduce. It was with that in mind that city staff began to change landscaping efforts from the traditional annual plant palette to a more progressive native perennial pollinator friendly species in 2019.

Residents can see the plants throughout the Downtown area, and especially at Liberty Park near North Liberty Street and West Wolfe Street. Staff believes the plants should be in full bloom by Memorial Day and will last until Labor Day.

Learn more about the pollinator program at