Pollinator Friendly Blooms

As part of a pilot program matching community volunteers to 24 pollinator-friendly planters, the Manitou Pollinators and Creative Alliance Manitou Springs (formerly the Creative District) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Becker’s Lane Pollination Stations friendly competition, which accounts for the 12 planters in the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) district. 

CHAMPIONS: Station #9: Barb Winter and Alice Barnett of the Indian Oaks Gals are this year’s Becker’s Lane champions with outstanding scores for Plant Health, Data Collection, and Style Points. The team also won “Best on Beckers” for the health and vigor of their Turkish Veronica. Their planter demonstrated solid watering, consistent data collection on plant health and pollinator sightings,  and successfully weathered an act of vandalism that cut off the top of their juniper. 

Pollination Station Planters are the multi-purpose planters along Manitou Avenue that beautify the streetscape through container gardening featuring sun-loving, drought-tolerant plants that provide excellent nutrition for pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths, and birds. The Manitou Pollinators’ designed the planters to offer food and shelter for pollinators even during the winter, which meant each volunteer had the opportunity to care for a Spartan Juniper surrounded by Prairie Winecups, Firecracker Penstemon, Turkish Veronica, and Blanket Flowers.

SECOND PLACE goes to Station #11: Joan and Karl Stang, who were assisted during the late summer by Emily Sawyer. Their collective efforts delivered strong competition to the champions and won “Best on Beckers” for the health of their Firecracker Penstemon.

THIRD PLACE goes to Station #7: Judith Chandler In Honor of Lucia Eagleheart and Roanin Caro. Despite a vehicle hitting the planter earlier in the season, the tree is supple and healthy enough to weather both that collision and the extreme western winds of December.

SPIRIT & STYLE AWARD goes to Station #4: Keithley Pines Historic Cabins. Annie Schmitt and Douglas Edmundson wowed the judges with decorations for both Halloween and the winter holidays. The planter is in good health overall and its beautiful glow made the sidewalk a more restful place to be one the sun set on Manitou Avenue.

Final judging took place on Winter Solstice, December 21, 2021 looking at three main areas: Plant Health, Data Collection, and Style Points for holiday decor. Plant Health was the focus of the pilot program to establish the plants for the two-to-three years that they’re expected to survive in the cast iron planters.

The program is funded in part by Colorado Creative Industries and National Endowment for the Arts, in addition to the Manitou Springs Urban Renewal Authority, Manitou Springs Business Improvement District, and the Manitou Art Center, with in-kind support from Rick’s Garden Center, Ace Hardware, and j9 Glass Studio.

For more information on the plants or the program, visit manitouspringscd.org/pollinationstations