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    AQUALIS’ Chicago Roof-Top Pollinator Gardens

    by Jason Abert, Vice President of Service Delivery

    In honor of National Pollinator Week, it seemed fitting to share our latest pollinator install in Chicago, Illinois. This install is especially fascinating as it is a rooftop garden and is double in size of our typical garden installs.

    With the assistance of AQUALIS Environmental Interns, this project took on a life of its own with full install completed on June 15th, 2020. This ecosystem on top of a grey infrastructure is a sustainable solution to protect the declining pollinator species.

    The site has over 400 plants to provide habitat for pollinators of all sorts! As part of their practical job experience and research project, the team of interns will inspect the species with various tests over the summer to verify that these types of installations are improving the ecosystem and attracting pollinator species to the site. The first insect inspection was completed a week after install with 48 samples collected. The first set of insects include house flies, spiders, a crane fly, and a sweat bee (note the metallic green color of the bee, this insect varies in colors across temperature regions).

    As many of the pollinator’s garden plants are young, they have small root systems that can dry out quickly, so they require frequent water to establish the plants into the ecosystem. As these plants mature into next year, they will require less water and maintenance which will only include removing shrubs or trees from the growth.

    Pollinator gardens are an economical and attractive option to our customers for their stormwater runoff in detention basins, green roofs, or swale. Installing a pollinator garden creates an environment for the pollinators to thrive and for native plants to continue to impact the local ecosystems. Find out if a pollinator garden is right for you by speaking with your AQUALIS representative or completing a free consultation here.