These signs are displayed in garden and natural habitats throughout the southwestern U.S. It is our hope they draw attention to the beauty and importance of pollinators and the need for healthy, pesticide-free habitat for all life.
The PoCo sign appears in front of a beautiful pollinator meadow at Tucson Audubon's Paton Center for Hummingbirds. PoCo contributed seeds of many species of nectar and host plants when this meadow was created around 2015. The meadow and Center attract numerous pollinators as well as visitors every year.
PoCo's one-acre restoration project known as the Thicket Patch was started in 2017 to restore the native habitat and enhance it with flowering pollinator plants and monarch host plants. Many mature oak trees and Manzanita bushes in this area were burned heavily by the intense Monument Fire in 2011. A flora of the Thicket Patch, with currently 165 species of native plants, is documented on the SEINet database at http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/checklists/checklist.php?clid=4992&pid=1
In front of the Carr House, a historic cabin situated in Carr Canyon near Sierra Vista Arizona, that has been renovated and opened to provide information and education to the public regarding the Huachuca Mountains, is a small pollinator garden maintained by volunteers of the Friends of Huachuca Mountains. The volunteers do their best to keep the deer and other wildlife from devouring the plants, but sometimes the only remaining plants are the Rosemary shrubs, which do provide great winter nectar for insects.
In the foothills of the Chiricahua Mountains (straddling Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico) is privately-owned intact native plant habitat that has attracted over 200 species of birds as well as numerous pollinators. The owners, retired environmental professionals, encourage the public to view birds from the back portion of their property that they regularly keep supplied with bird food.
The Coronado National Memorial, with public access to native southwestern habitats, is located at the southern end of the Huachuca Mountains bordering Mexico. The visitor center has a raised bed garden with pollinator-friendly plants native to the Memorial.
A long-time volunteer asked PoCo if we would recommend pollinator plants for this garden, that is visited by thousands of people every year. We added signage and transplanted nectar plants and caterpillar host plants from the Thicket Patch (a few miles away), along with plants native to the park grown by local native plant nurseries.
This small amount of habitat has attracted at least 28 species of butterflies.
Friends of the San Pedro River contacted PoCo for guidance on plants that are native to the San Pedro River National Conservation Area (SPRNCA) to showcase in a small garden near the historic San Pedro House that sells natural history books and other products.
It was decided to name this patch of habitat their Native Milkweed Garden and dedicate it to long-time volunteers, Dutch and Pat Nagle. Three milkweed species that are native to the SPRNCA were planted: Bract Milkweed (Asclepias brachystephana), Horsetail Milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata) and Antelopehorns Milkweed (Asclepias asperula). Volunteers are monitoring for Monarch caterpillars and other butterfly activity.
The PoCo garden sign and Tucson Audubon's Important Bird Area (IBA) sign appear in front of the directors' back yard that borders the Coronado National Forest.
This wildlife habitat garden with locally native plants as well as high-nectar flowering plants for pollinators has recorded almost 200 species of birds, 126 butterflies, 40 grasshoppers, 2 nectar-feeding bats, and countless native bees, wasps and beetles.
The habitat is healthy Madrean oak woodland that meets native grassland.