Pollinator plantings in Minnesota state parks

Monarch migration at Lake Louise State Park

Mini superheroes

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Once seen from Minnesota to Maine, the range of the rusty patched bumble bee has shrunk dramatically since 2000.

Pollinators are animals with the superpower to  turn flowers into seeds. Watch them shake, bump, rip and knock pollen loose from flowers! Flowers use pollen to make seeds. Most plants need an animal pollinator to carry pollen from one flower to another—if we want healthy habitats, we need pollinators.

Some pollinators are in big trouble. Wildflowers they use for food have been replaced with lawns, roads, fields, and ornamental plants. For many pollinators, this loss is like going to the grocery store and finding bare shelves. Pollinators need you to come to their rescue.

Be a hero for pollinators

  • Grow different kinds of plants so flowers bloom from spring to fall.
  • Plant wildflowers native to your area.

Exhibit transcripts

Ten state parks have installed educational pollinator plantings that include exhibits. These are the transcripts of audio content in those exhibits.

Afton State Park

Sign transcript

Look at the area in front of you and notice the flowers that are blooming now. If you look closer at some of these flowers you may see an insect pollinator superhero! A butterfly, a bee, or some other six-legged insect. Sometimes you can even hear them. During the summer months at Afton State Park you can always find some kind of flower blooming in the prairies, each with its own special pollinators. To learn more about the plants and animals that live in a prairie you can walk the interpretive prairie trail to the right of where you are now.

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Buffalo River State Park

Sign transcript

My name is Kathy Beaulieu and I am a Naturalist. We have planted the wildflowers around you to help pollinators like Monarchs find food and shelter. Here are some tips on how to notice pollinators at Buffalo River State Park. How many pollinators can you find? Be still for a moment. What do you hear? What do you see? When you find a pollinator, notice what it is doing. You can help pollinators where you live by planting wildflowers like these. Plant many kinds so flowers bloom all season. Here or at home, tell others about pollinators.

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Flandrau State Park

Sign transcript

Hello, I am Scott Kudelka, the Area Naturalist. Pollinators are valuable to all of us. They bring us beautiful wildflowers like those growing here. Look around to see some of the native wildflowers that attract pollinators which they need to survive. You will notice how some have different colors and bloom at different times. Hear the buzzing of native bees. Go search for other native wildflowers including in your own community. Think about planting some native wildflowers and other native plants in your own yard to attract pollinators. Do this and be a superhero.

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Fort Snelling State Park

Sign transcript

Welcome to our pollinator garden, be still here for a few moments. The plants and wildflowers all around you help pollinators, like monarchs and bumble bees, find food and shelter. Go ahead and get close to these plants. What do you smell? Do they all smell the same? Do you see any insects? What are they doing?

These insects, or pollinators, need good food and habitat to survive. Gardens like these help them out. You can plant native wildflowers where you live and help pollinators thrive near you.

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Lake Carlos State Park

Sign transcript

My name is Ben Eckhoff and I am the Area Naturalist. We have planted the wildflowers around you to help pollinators like Monarchs find food and shelter. Here are some tips on how to notice pollinators here at Lake Carlos State Park. How many pollinators can you find? Be still for a moment. What do you see? What do you hear? Get close to the wildflowers. What can you smell? Do all the flowers smell the same? You can help pollinators where you live by planting wildflowers like these. Plant many kinds so flowers bloom all season. Here or at home, tell others about your experience.

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Minneopa State Park

Sign transcript

Hello, I am Scott Kudelka, the Minneopa Area Naturalist. Pollinators are valuable to all of us. They bring us beautiful wildflowers like those growing here. Look around to see some of the native wildflowers that attract pollinators, which they need to survive. You will notice how some have different colors and bloom at different times. Hear the buzzing of native bees. Go search for other native wildflowers including in your own community. Think about planting some native wildflowers and other native plants in your own yard to attract pollinators. Do this and be a superhero.

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Myre-Big Island State Park

Sign transcript

Hello, Alex Watson here. I am a naturalist with Minnesota State Parks and Trails. Here are my tips for noticing the small but very important world of pollinating insects. Slow down, take a deep breath, and exhale slowly. Now you are ready to notice. Look for movement on the petals. Get close and smell the perfume of nectar in the air. Challenge yourself to spend three minutes noticing just one flower.

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Whitewater State Park

Sign transcript

My name is Sara and I am a naturalist. We have planted the wildflowers in this area to help pollinators like Monarchs and bumblebees find food and shelter. Look closely at the wildflowers around you. Different wildflowers bloom throughout the summer, each with their own special pollinator friends. During winter, the plant stems provide habitat for sleeping insects and the seeds are food for birds. Planting native wildflowers is very important. You can plant wildflowers where you live. To learn more about the wildflowers at Whitewater State Park, visit our Prairie Wildflower Garden at the visitor center.

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Wild River State Park

Sign transcript

Look around you at the incredible diversity of wildflowers throughout this prairie. Pause a moment - look closely at the flowers. Do you see any insects? Maybe a butterfly, a bee or some other six-legged wonder? Wild River State Park works with volunteers to protect and restore native prairie wildflowers and grasses. They help create these amazing prairies that you see and provide homes and food these pollinators need. You too can make a difference here at Wild River, your own community and even your own home by protecting and planting native wildflowers. In doing so, you can be the hero these pollinators need.

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William O'Brien State Park

Sign transcript

I want you to know some of the heroes of the 6-legged world, the butterflies, bees, and other pollinators that are feeding on nectar while moving pollen. So get close -- even closer -- and watch as they flit from flower to flower. How many can you find, and what colors do you see? Be quiet and listen, the plot is buzzing with life! You can be a superhero too! Help the pollinators by planting wildflowers in your own backyard or neighborhood and see how many make it their home.

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Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund logo
Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).