Local Rotary Club Joins Newtown Sanctuary To Protect Pollinators

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There’s something taking root and growing in Connecticut and Long Island: kindness. On a bright and sunny Saturday, the first delivery of 59 Kindness Garden plants were delivered to Long Island Rotary Clubs and local businesses including the Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island, Manhasset-Lakeville Water District and the Science Museum of Long Island.

Kindness Gardens, an environmental initiative between the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown, CT. and the Manhasset Rotary Club, work to beautify the land while increasing the number of truly native plants in each eco-region. The 2021 Kindness Garden plants were grown specifically for the Long Island region in order to thrive in the coastal climate while promoting local pollinator health and propagation. More than 5,000 square feet of pollinator habitat was planted as a result of the initiative.

Tom Lang, his daughter Catherine and Rob Donna from Manhasset Rotary were excited to help pollinators in the community.
(Photo courtesy of Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary)

Jenny Hubbard, the executive director of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, made the drive from Newtown to Manhasset to personally distribute the plugs and answer any questions recipients might have. “It was a thrill to come to Manhasset and meet the rotary club members in person to kick off this initiative,” Hubbard said. “Thanks to the deep care and commitment of these Long Island business and civic leaders, these plants are going to flourish and spread, providing much needed food and sustenance to nature’s most fragile creatures. I can’t wait to come back and see how they’ve grown.”

The concept behind Kindness Gardens stems from the fact that all of nature — farms, meadows and gardens — depend on a robust population of pollinators and beneficial insects, and those insects depend on native plants.

Robert Donno from Manhasset Rotary and Gift of Life International couldn’t wait to sign on with the sanctuary to bring the pilot program to life in Long Island. “The CVH Animal Sanctuary was created in honor of 6-year-old Catherine who lost her life at Sandy Hook Elementary…a young girl who would whisper to animals and insects,” Donno said. “‘Tell all your friends that I am kind.’ It’s that quote which echoes in our mind and will live in the flowers we plant, the animals we care for and the hearts of children we mend.”

Kindness Gardens are a 2021 piloted program that utilizes plant plugs exclusively grown for the Eco-type Project, an initiative to support habitat restoration and pollinator health, and is a plant and place-based approach to land stewardship. Included in the garden kits were 16-64 Eco-type plant plugs, planting and care instructions and detailed landscape maps to show layout design and soil, sun or shade specifications. Eco-type plants are available in select nurseries and were supplied by Newtown-based grower, Planters Choice.

To learn more about the initiatives and programs offered by the sanctuary or Manhasset Rotary visit www.CVHFoudnation.org or www.manhassetrotary.org.

—Submitted by the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary.

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