MotorCities National Heritage Area

May 19, 2022

A group of Rotary volunteers will plant a new Pollinator Garden starting Friday at 2 p.m. at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, located at 240 Museum Drive in downtown Lansing. The garden is a joint project by the museum, Rotary International's Southwestern Michigan District #6360 and MotorCities National Heritage Area. At 3 p.m., there will be a press event to celebrate Rotary Day in Lansing and the museum’s joining organizations around the state signing MotorCities’ Pollinator Pledge. 

The garden will be planted during the Rotary District #6360 Conference taking place in Lansing, May 20-21 and will feature a variety of colorful, native plants such as Bergamot, Lanceleaf Coreopsos, Blazing Star, and Little Bluestem, creating valuable new habitat for important pollinator species like bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and a variety of other insects. The native plants were grown at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, a non-profit environmental education center in Barry County.

The purpose of the Pollinator Garden Project is to educate the public on the critical role pollinators play in our ecosystem and the relative ease in which people can create pollinator gardens of their own, while encouraging individuals to plant their own pollinator gardens to help restore pollinator habitats. Rotary District #6360 and the MotorCities National Heritage Area will also be signing a one-page resolution in joint support of helping to reduce pollinator loss.

The MotorCities Pollinator Pledge, part of a broader initiative in conjunction with the nonprofit’s affiliation with the National Park Service, showcases projects being undertaken to benefit pollinators, and to educate visitors as to the importance of pollinators in Michigan.  The Pledge encourages businesses, nonprofits, public entities, neighborhood associations and service clubs to do what they can in support of pollinators, including creating pollinator-friendly habitats and planting pollinator-friendly plants. 

MotorCities Director of Programs & Operations, Brian Yopp explained, “We can all do our part to help encourage pollinator friendly habitats.  We have found that our auto and labor heritage partners are already taking the lead in their communities and using their spaces to make a difference.  We are excited to have new partners in this process.”

Rotary District #6360 Governor, Rita LaMoreaux, agrees. "By engaging Rotary’s Pollinator movement known as Operation Pollination, District #6360 is doing its part to help solve a global environmental crisis. We’re grateful for the critical partnership and cooperation of the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum and MotorCities National Heritage Area in helping us move this important initiative forward in the Lansing area.” 

Located along Lansing’s downtown riverwalk on the grounds of the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, the new pollinator garden will have educational signage to identify the plants and pollinators, as well as table seating adjacent to the garden. The garden will be open to the public.

To learn more about pollinator gardens and Operation Pollination:

To learn more about MotorCities’ Pollinator Pledge: