Miller Park Zoo using grant to expand pollinator garden with endangered and threatened plant species

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Miller Park Zoo announced Wednesday that it is starting a new conservation project in its pollinator garden between its Tropical Rainforest Building and the Alligator exhibit.

According to a press release, the zoo is using funding from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation to exchange the plants in the pollinator garden with plants on the Illinois Endangered and Threatened species list.

Miller Park Zoo staff plan to swap all the plants in the garden with endangered plant species and hopes to use the garden to educate guests about the plant species that are in need of help before they disappear.

“The Miller Park Zoo is proving itself as a leader in this community when it comes to conservation. This project is different than what many people would think the Zoo would be involved with, but we have worked on pollinator conservation for a number of years,” said Miller Park Zoo Superintendent Jay Tetzloff.

All the existing plants in the pollinator garden that are being replaced with endangered species will be moved to an existing pollinator garden in White Oak Park.

The zoo also announced that 100 Wild Lupine plants will be installed in a pollinator garden near Allin and Front Street. The plants are the exclusive food source of the endangered caterpillars of the Karner Blue Butterflies.

The zoo encourages everyone to include local pollinator-friendly plant species in their landscaping or to volunteer to help maintain the pollinator garden at the zoo.

The zoo also accepts donations to its Zoo Conservation Fund to help with its conservation efforts. More information about the Zoo is available on its website.

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