13th Street to be transformed into "Pollinator Flyway"

LINCOLN, Neb. - Right now, there are 67 dormant plant beds on 13th St. from Lincoln Mall to Love Hall. But the Downtown Lincoln Association and Nebraska Wildlife Federation are hoping to change that.

Photo: Kenneth Dwain Harrelson / CC BY 3.0

Over the next few weeks, the two groups will start planting native plants along the street in hopes of attracting pollinators to the area.

"There are some that are endangered, some that are threatened, but we do know all pollinators are struggling right now," said Carolyn Butler with Nebraska Wildlife Federation. "We need to get more native plants on the landscape because they're adapted to those plants."

The Downtown Lincoln Association says it was already planning on filling the beds, so the opportunity to use native plants was an obvious choice.

"It doesn't really cost us anything more, especially because a lot of our native plants are smaller," said Brian Munk, the incoming Director of Maintenance.

Work on the "Pollinator Flyway" should begin in May, though it may take a while to see the full benefit.

"These plants, you'll really start to see the beautiful colors later this summer," Munk said. "Really, to get the full effect, these plants will take two or three years. They're perennial so they come back every year bigger and better."

Once the gardens are blooming, Butler says the Nebraska Wildlife Federation plans to have tours of the flyway and add signs so people know what plants they're looking at as well as what pollinators they're helping and protecting.