"Pollinator Pathway" addition in downtown Rochester

Apr 27, 2018

Volunteers along the "Pollinator Pathway" in High Falls
Credit Alex Crichton

Members of Greentopia joined community partners to celebrate Arbor Day in Rochester by installing a "Pollinator Pathway" in the High Falls EcoDistrict

Greentopia co-founder Michael Philipson says the pathway includes flowering trees and shrubs along with a seed mix with the goal of attracting pollinators to the urban area.

"The path will be educational, we'll have signage along the way and we're partnering with American Heart to make it part of their EcoLoop."

The EcoLoop is a walking loop around the gorge downtown.

The first in the "1,000 Tree Project"

Board member with the Rochester chapter of the Heart Association, Chris Kennedy, says this project is all about producing healthier living options.

"Being able to go out and have physical activity, and set goals, set personal goals, too to help fight the risk of heart disease and stroke," he said.

At the same time, Greentopia in partnering with the Genesee Land Trust on the 1,000 Tree Project, with the goal of planting 1000 trees in and around the EcoDistrict, according to EcoDistrict director Rachel Walsh.

She says the projects are all about increasing biodiversity in the urban core.

"A lot of times with development, we lose a lot of our insects and birds and bugs because there's not enough habitat.  So this is a way with flowering shrubs and pollinators to reinvigorate that urban biodiversity," she said.

Walsh adds the EcoDistrict provides a framework for neighborhoods to work together.

Some of those neighbors helping out with the projects include local residents, RG&E and the Genesee Brewery, which provided plant material and dozens of volunteers.

Crews working on the EcoLoop and the 1,000 Tree project:

Greentopia co-founder Michael Philipson announcing the two projects: