This project will be to design and plant a hedgerow along the southern boundary of the UW-CUH Farm; it will be composed of woody perennial plant species that will act primarily as pollinator habitat, providing forage, shelter, and most importantly, overwintering habitat for insects. By installing suitable habitat for local pollinating insects, this project will both enhance the biodiversity of the surrounding Union Bay Natural Area and benefit student food production at the UW Farm by potentially increasing the yield of vegetables grown and the genetic diversity (stress-tolerance) of the crops. Habitats will also provide a home for other, non-pollinating species that will benefit the farm such as parasitic wasps or flies that kill pest insects.
UW students that work and volunteer at the farm will have the opportunity to help plant the vegetation over the coming year. They will learn how to care for the habitats into future years: primarily trimming and maintenance of perennial shrubs, removing weeds that grow into the area, and planting replacement plants as necessary. Teens and young adults from Seattle Youth Garden Works will also be involved in the installation and future maintenance of the pollinator habitats. Any future work on the site will require minimal effort by volunteers; after the initial installation is completed the hedgerow will be self-sustaining.