The Bee Line is being grown in St. Paul!
Residents of the Frogtown and Hamline Midway neighborhoods have been working along Pierce Butler for about 6 years to enhance the roadside planting with native pollinator plants. In 2022 a dedicated group of folks from these communities, with the help of Frogtown Green(External link) and the Hamline Midway Coalition, were awarded a Lawns to Legumes demonstration grant (from the state of Minnesota)(External link) for a 2 year effort to increase native pollinator habitat along their shared northern border of Pierce Butler Route.
|What is ‘The Bee Line’?
A completed Bee Line will be a 2.25-mile planted corridor along a transit-way already inhabited by Rusty Patched Bumblebees. The greenway will comprise a series of pollinator-beneficial, native plantings: large perennial gardens; rain gardens, trees and shrub groves; and a meadow. The corridor follows Pierce Butler Rte in north St Paul, from the intersection of Dale St and Minnehaha Ave to Newell Park, just beyond the Snelling/Pierce Butler entrance ramp.
Parts of the Bee Line are already in place, including Monarch City Gardens near Dale and Minnehaha; Pierce Butler Meadows near Snelling; and the west anchor, Newell Park. With Lawns to Legumes support, we will link existing and new elements into a more united corridor. This phase of development will shorten the distance between pollinator-friendly areas to a half-mile—the typical foraging distance of the Rusty Patched Bumblebee.
|The Bee Line will benefit pollinators–and people.
|It will multiply pollinator habitat in an area already inhabited by Rusty Patched Bumblebees. It will offer venues for learning and training about more pollinator-sensitive ways to maintain urban roadways. Most important, it will enlist neighborhood residents in helping to cultivate sustainable, pollinator-friendly beauty, along a neglected industrial truck route.
|The Bee Line will tackle environmental goals.
|By reducing mowing needs, increasing tree canopy, reducing soil erosion and absorbing stormwater, the Bee Line will demonstrate measures to address the impacts of climate change in urban neighborhoods and along roadways.
|The Bee Line will be beautiful.
|As bikers and drivers travel along the abundantly planted Bee Line right-of-way, and as pedestrians visit its demonstration gardens, they will be vividly reminded of the importance of pollinators and native flora. The plantings and accompanying signage will demonstrate many ways to increase urban pollinator habitat, from boulevard strips to rain gardens, meadows, shrub groves and trees.
The pollinators and the people living near The Bee Line extend a gracious thank you to all the contributors who have helped restore native plants and pollinators along its length. Our collective actions will make a big impact on the urban local environment surrounding the county-owned Pierce Butler Route.
In additions to a grant from the Lawns to Legumes state allocation, the Hamline Midway Coalition and Frogtown Green are grateful to a number of collaborating individuals, programs and sponsors:
Free Trees programs in both neighborhoods of Frogtown (TreeFrogs) and Hamline Midway ( Hamline Midway Environment Committee) which gets support from multiple foundations and donors such as the Friends School of Minnesota(External link), Tree Trust(External link), BNSF Railway Foundation(External link), Earthkeepers at Hamline Church(External link), AmeriCorps(External link), Cash Money Ryders MC(External link), and dozens of volunteers.
The MnSEED project(External link) (supported by Capitol Region Watershed District(External link), The Minnesota State Horticultural Society(External link) and Como Community Seed Library(External link)),
Stewards of Monarch City(External link)
Volunteers for Pierce Butler Meadow
The Seedling Corps volunteers
Community members across St Paul near the neighborhoods of Hamline Midway & Frogtown who have started seeds, collected seeds, attended planting dates, built tree gravel beds, weeded, moved mulch, transported materials, lent tools, irrigated plantings and contributed to planning, drafting, & celebrating these collective greening milestones.