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Eau Claire neighborhood creates pollinator garden

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - Eau Claire's Upper West Side Neighborhood Association has begun their Eco Pod Project, which aims to give a habitat to pollinating insects, so they in turn can pollinate our food.

The Upper Westside Neighborhood Association was able to start the project, located on 7th Street just off the High Bridge Trail, thanks to some support from the Eau Claire Neighborhood Matching Grant Fund.

Community members volunteered to get their hands dirty starting this month. This first eco pod garden was planted in the shape of a half moon to mimic the Half Moon Lake and the trail. Community members hope it will not only help the environment, but bring their neighborhood together.

"We also want to have a sense of the environment," said Cheryl Leonard, project coordinator and vice president of the neighborhood association. "This garden is very important for our environment, it is a native plant garden, which helps the pollinators, the birds, the bees, the butterflies, and in doing that it also brings people about and it makes people want to become more involved."

Landscape architect and designer of the garden Joe Maurer said the eco pods were originally just going to be along the trail, but is now hoping to build a hundred of these gardens throughout the Chippewa Valley over the next few years. He said supporting our insect population is critical to supporting our environment as a whole.

"We know that native pollinators are in decline but instead of taking a doom and gloom attitude we wanted to do something and we can do this one eco pod at a time. So, these little gardens are little places where we can hope together as a neighborhood," he said.

Maurer also said the project has been a great way for neighbors to meet one another and safely work on something together during the pandemic.

If you would like to learn more about the project, or would like to get involved, the neighborhood association's email is

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Felicity Bosk

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