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Rebuilding Phoenix's Pollinator Garden

The city of Phoenix has been on a road to recovery since the Almeda Fire devastated the town last September.

“I was like on of many others who’s house burned down,” said Sharon Schmidt, president of the Cascade Girl Organization. “Sadly the fire also reached our Bee City USA garden here in Blue Heron Park.”

“After the Almeda Fire, we discovered that a former pollinator garden was badly hurt and singed,” said biodynamic gardener Gerlinde Smith. “So we created a new garden that I designed.”

Utilizing biodynamic gardening practices, the new pollinator garden hopes to bring back native species that are vital to a local ecosystem.

“About this time every year I look for queen bees and I just haven’t seen a lot this year,” said Schmidt.

“We want to encourage native pollinators to come in,” said Smith. “They are the most vital parts of our ecosystem in the pollinator world. In Oregon alone, we have 500 types of bees. Honey bees are like me; they are from Europe.”

Like the rest of Phoenix, the impact of the Almeda Fire is not hard to see, and burnt trees next to the new garden symbolize a new beginning for the town.

“It is quite a metaphor, the old and the new,” said Schmidt. “It’s contrasting the life you see here in the garden with the trees. It really kind of gets [to] you.”

Sharon Schmidt says volunteers will be back on Earth Day to continue working on the garden and bringing good energy to the rejuvenation process.