For many rural towns, tourism can be a lifeline. Where old industries have faded, tourists can inject some much needed life into local economies. As much of that tourism is based on a desire to get back to nature, here are 3 ways your town can use pollinator habitat to attract tourists.
Unless your town has a well-maintained hiking trail, your recreation areas may be indistinguishable from those anywhere else. That may be fine in terms of functionality, but it’s not so good as a tourist draw. After all, if your town looks like every other, what is the impetus to visit?
One way to change that is to take existing lawn and turn it into fields of native plants. In effect, you are turning pollinator habitat into a recreational site. In this video, Allegheny County has created a meadow that is now a tourist draw. Instead of mowing a big slope the way they used to, they now only mow paths through fields of native plants. It’s saving them money, it’s better for the environment, and tourists are loving it.
I lived for many years in Vermont, a state known for its bucolic scenery. In the autumn, tourists flock there to see the trees turning color. These tourists visit lots of little towns – but they also spend a lot of time on the road. The scenery as you drive is breath-taking and is one of the main attractions.
This can come into conflict, though, when developers begin siting solar installations along roadways. One solution is to incorporate beautiful pollinator meadows into these solar projects. Suddenly, a field no longer used for farming is being replenished with acres of native plants. The result is a gorgeous, living landscape – and a far cry from the industrial-looking site so many towns wish to avoid.
Another way to attract visitors is to turn your pollinator habitat into an educational destination. Think of how many school districts in your area are looking for exciting field trips for their students. Think of how many families want their children to learn while having fun. There is a lot of interest in natural educational settings – and that can benefit your town.
Simple signage can be all it takes to transform a meadow into an educational site. QR codes and a website make it even better. The investment is minimal and the impact is long-lasting.
Pollinator Habitat Attracts Tourists
People are drawn to beautiful spaces. We plan our vacations in parks, we drive to see beautiful landscapes, and we want our children to learn in natural settings. Pollinator habitat helps achieve all these goals – and there’s no reason your town can’t benefit from it.
Photo by Peter James Eisenhaure on Unsplash