Library landscape pilot: Pollinator garden

Have you noticed something different about the grounds around the entrance to Woodruff Library lately?

Area to the left of the Woodruff Library’s main entrance, before (left) and after the planting.

On April 18, 2024, we had an initial planting for a “Library Landscape Pilot” project, initiated with the idea of a “pollinator garden”), by the Emory Libraries (and Carlos Museum) Environmental Sustainability Committee (ELESC) last year. Pollinator gardens are being promoted especially in urban and suburban areas as a response to the decline in populations of butterflies, bees and other pollinators in our environment, in part due to loss of habitat, and the committee wanted to demonstrate what could be possible in landscaped areas around the Woodruff Library building. Can there be a place for more pollinator-friendly plants here 
We gained support from Emory Exterior Services (thanks to Jimmy Powell, Claire Houston and the grounds crew for advice, ordering, preparation and planting), advice from Jaap de Roode, professor of biology, and Erik Edwards, manager of the Emory Educational Gardens and Greenhouses, and a grant for plant purchases from the Office of Sustainability Initiatives. OSI is encouraging more pollinator-friendly plants on campus as a part of their Pollinator Protection Program.

Office of Sustainability Initiatives logo

We are learning more as we go about gardening, pollinators, native Georgia plants, and their historical medicinal use by Indigenous peoples (and hope to provide more information on this later)For now, we’re having to be patient and let the plants settle in and (hopefully) grow – but are encouraged by some early signs: 

Flowers and plants popping up so far include, from left, purple coneflower, yarrow, obedient plant, and scarlet sage.

Expected blooming times run from early spring through early fall, so we, and you, may not see or be able to evaluate the full project success until this time next yearWe have Diagrams of Planting Areas showing what’s planted to date, and to learn more about this project, visit our LibNet page.   
Please enjoy watching the progress of our garden areas but try not to trample on the plants!   
If you would like to talk to someone about the project, make suggestions for future actions, or volunteer to help with weekly plant monitoring and weeding, contact Laura Akerman, liblna [at] emory [dot] edu, or Julie Newton, jnewt01 [at] emory [dot] edu
If you want to keep up with other projects and initiatives from ELESC, visit the Committee’s Libnet page or contact chair Joe Gargasz, joseph [dot] gargasz [at] emory [dot] edu.


—by Laura Akerman, product manager, Library Technology and Digital Strategies