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Here’s why Walmart planted a garden in Bellingham

Department of the Interior urges community to protect pollinators during national pollinator week

You can do your part to protect pollinators like bees and butterflies by planting a pollinator garden, providing nesting sites and avoiding or limiting pesticide use.
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You can do your part to protect pollinators like bees and butterflies by planting a pollinator garden, providing nesting sites and avoiding or limiting pesticide use.

New pollinator gardens are adding beauty and attracting pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, to Walmarts across the region – including Bellingham’s Meridian Street location.

Bellingham’s garden, which is one of 14 in Washington state, was planted on May 8, 2019, and is filled with a variety of plants and wildflowers.

“We want to attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators that will help improve the pollinator population in the community,” Wendy Widener, senior manager for Walmart’s Environmental, Health and Safety Compliance team, told The Bellingham Herald.

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Lacey Young The Bellingham Herald

While many of the gardens include milkweed that attracts monarch butterflies, which is important to include in a viable pollinator habitat, Bellingham’s garden focuses on wildflowers.

“All of the seeds that we have in that garden our customers can purchase,” Widener said. “So the garden we have out there, anyone can have.”

The garden blooms are at their peak in the spring and summer.

Over the past 20 years, monarch butterfly populations have dropped more than 90%, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

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Lacey Young The Bellingham Herald

Widener emphasized that it was the buy-in of the community that really convinced Walmart to start a pollinator garden in Bellingham. It’s one of 21 across the country.

“We are delighted to initiate this (program) at some of our stores as these flower gardens enhance our landscaping and serve as an important habitat for the birds and insects that play a vital role in plant, vegetable and fruit reproduction,” Widener said.

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Lacey Young The Bellingham Herald

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