The Crystal Lake Park District has dedicated pollinator gardens throughout our parks.

The purpose of these concentrated gardens is to provide habitat and a food source to benefit butterflies, moths, bees and other pollinators. Pollinators are critical to the environment and our agricultural industry. One in three bites of food that a person eats in a meal has been pollinated by one of our precious pollinators.
For more information about Crystal Lake Park District Pollinators initiatives, contact Preston Skultety, Manager of Natural Resources at pskultety@crystallakeparks.org

pollinator garden locations

Nature Center Landscape Beds

Veteran Acres - Pond Buffer/Rain Garden adjacent to Acorn Alley/Rain Gardens adjacent to Rotary Building

Main Beach triangle between Dole & Lakeshore Drive

Woodscreek Park

Hampton Park

Kamijima Park shoreline

Ken Bird Park

Four Colonies Park

Celebrating Earth Day

On April 22, 2023, Earth Day, the Crystal Lake Park District distributed pollinator garden seed packets to Community Clean Up Volunteers. In addition, the free seed packets were available at the Nature Center and Administration Office.

The packets included the following mix of Mesic Prairie Wildflower seeds (Medium Moisture) designed to be a good fit for pollinator gardens on residential properties where height and maintenance are important considerations:

Black Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta 2' Yellow 16
Butterfly Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa 2' Orange 1.6
Hoary Vervain Verbena stricta 2' Blue 9.6
Ohio Spiderwort Tradescantia ohiensis 3' Blue/Purple 1.6
Partridge Pea Chamaecrista fasciculata 2' Yellow 16
Prairie Blazing Star Liatris pychnostachya 4' Purple 1.6
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea 4' Lt. Purple 12
Purple Prairie Clover Dalea purpurea 2' Purple 8
Rattlesnake Master Eryngium yuccifolium 4' White 1.6
Side-Oats Grama Bouteloua curipendula 2' Green/Brown 12
Smooth Blue Aster Symphyotrichum laeve 4' Blue 2.4
Smooth Penstermon Penstemon digitalis 4' White 6.4
Stiff Goldenrod Oligoneuron rigidum 4' Yellow 4.8
Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa 4' Lt. Purple 4.8
Wild Quinine Parthenium integrifolium 4' White 1.6
For more information about the Crystal Lake Park District Pollinators initiative, contact Preston Skultety, Manager of Natural Resources at pskultety@crystallakeparks.org.

----monarch pledge logo.png MAYORS MONARCH PLEDGE

The Mayors' Monarch Pledge program is led by the National Wildlife Federation and focuses on efforts to sustain monarch butterfly and pollinator habitats. The Crystal Lake Park District accepted the pledge in 2022-23 and is pursing action items. The Mayors' Monarch Pledge is an important effort for the Crystal Lake Park District and our community to protect monarch butterfly and other pollinator habitats.


----bioblitz.png Bio Blitz

BioBlitz with us! Our staff will lead community volunteers in finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. BioBlitz participants will help Park District Natural Resources staff capture photos and data needed to build information on our area's biodiversity. This info will be used to select plants and locations that will expand pollinator pockets throughout our parks!
For more information on how to become a BioBlitzer, contact Will Sutphin.





Many species of butterflies as well as other pollinators are in decline. Luckily, supporting them can be as simple as adding native plants to your existing landscape. Native plants have evolved with our region's conditions and can be relatively easy to establish. Adding native plants is important because many pollinators have adapted to specialize in feeding primarily on certain native species. Also, many cultivated non-native plants are selected for showy traits that sometimes diminish their pollen producing ability. The following are some of the recommended native plant types that benefit pollinators and can often be purchased at plant nurseries.

Asters Little Blue Stem Buckeye
Blazing Stars Prairie Dropseed Cherry
Bonesets Side-oats grama Dogwoods
Cardinal Flower Hawthorn
Golden Rods New Jersey Tea
Ironweeds American Plum
Joe-pye-weeds Eastern Redbud
Milkweeds Spicebush
Mountain Mint
New England Aster

Many of these native plants can be found at your local garden center. Most centers these days will have at least a small native plant selection. There is also a growing number of nurseries specializing in native species propagation. A good resource for finding native plant suppliers in our region is The Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee based in McHenry County.


When land use goals allow, the following maintenance practices are also beneficial to pollinators:

  • Wait to mow later into the spring as some early flowering species in turf can provide nourishment for pollinators.
  • Allow a certain amount of flowering "weeds" to persist in turf by limiting or eliminating lawn treatments.
  • Leave the leaves where possible in the fall as leaves provide nutrients, insulation and important cover for overwintering insects.
  • Allow some bare soil areas that can host ground nesting pollinators.
  • Select some early and late blooming plants that provide a food source when other sources are scarce.
  • Save the stems. Hold off on pruning and snipping late spring or let the stems naturally decompose. The last growing season's stems provide nesting sites for insects and can often have insect eggs on them.
  • Leave snags and logs where possible as these provide burrowing chambers for insects.


Please find within each resource links below, guides to help you start your pollinator garden journey! Plant selection ideas, landscape ideas and information on bloom periods will help you to become a good steward of pollinators on your property.

Xerces Society

Selecting Plants for Pollinators Guide, publication provided by North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) and the Pollinator Partnership

How to Build a Pollinator Garden, publication provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

How to Create a Pollinator Garden in 7 Steps, publication provided by Architectural Digest

*Thank you to Ms. Garcia & Hannah, Jamie, Laurel, and Trevor. After some research for a class project on Pollinators, they suggested this resource as a tool helpful for kids & students and inexperienced gardeners.