ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — A pollinator garden is coming to downtown Allegan this spring after the county’s conservation district signed a three-year lease agreement.

There have been several attempts to revive the about half-acre plot on the corner of Trowbridge and Cedar streets over the years. After a failed community garden, conservation technician Emily Brown said the Allegan Conservation District is going to take a different approach and plant native, low-maintenance plants.

“We want to use this space to show people what you can have a garden look like using native plants,” Brown said. “Native plants are a lot easier to take care of, typically. They don’t require as much watering. They don’t require much fertilization.”

Additionally, the planting of native species is an attempt to attract and grow pollinator populations, including bees.

“It’s a little bit scary the decline (in the bee population),” Brown said. “Pollinators are really important to our food production. I believe it’s one in three bites of food that we eat are because of pollinators.”

Allegan is not the first city to invest in pollinating spaces. Grand Rapids updated its Briggs Park butterfly garden last year and added several bee homes to Riverside Park. Brown said the conservation district is also working with Fennville to renovate a green space into a pollinator habitat.

“They prefer a certain type or it’s just better habitat throughout the winter,” Brown said. “Native plants tend to attract more pollinators to them.”

Grant money and a past mileage will pay for the garden’s renovation.