24th Annual Bloom Time Festival with the UVM Horticultural Center

Published: May. 20, 2023 at 11:29 PM EDT
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SOUTH BURLINGTON Vt. (WCAX)- This group of people are visiting the UVM Horticultural Research and Education Center to participate in the 24th annual Bloom Time Festival.

The Bloom Time Festival is an event where people are invited to the center to explore its various gardens managed by the Friends of The Horticulture Farm. A group whose goal is to help preserve the land.

This event also gives people the opportunity to connect with outdoor professionals about how to upkeep their own gardens in eco-friendly ways.

In this group people are learning about the types of plants that attract pollinators to their gardens and how to manage them.

“I’ve spent the winter reading about native plants and all of that. But it is wonderful to come and see how they are put together. They laid out this garden of plants that function well together. The more information I have, the better off the plant’s are going to be,” said gardener June Sweeney.

“I affirmed first of all that what I have in my flower beds is good for pollinators. I was really happy about that because I live in the Old North End of Burlington where we have not great soil. It’s actually very contaminated,” explained gardener Polly Vanderputten.

Steven Shepard is a writer who went to the festival to speak about the importance of Vermonters making choices with protecting the state’s bio-diversity in mind.

People there say one thing you can do is section off a small part of your garden for native plants. Avoid planting just a single species and educate yourself on how to support the pollinators. As researchers have seen a decline in them for several years.

“The decline in the pollinators is happening for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest things people can do to avoid that is to stop using neonicotinoid based insecticides. Because of the insecticides, yes they will take care of pests. But they also take care of pollinators, they take care of birds,” said Vermont writer Steven Shepard.

People that came told us that they think that there should be more open conversations about how to keep our ecosystems alive.

“Absolutely, I’m really concerned, especially what’s happened to bee populations. But also butterfly populations. I think that we need to be really conscious of what we are growing, and where we are growing it, and why we are growing it,” said Vanderputten.