Rochester Pollinators Committee


Rochester Pollinators Committee of the Rochester City Beautiful Commission

Restore Our Natural Habitat — Start Growing Native! 

Save the monarch butterfly and pollinators by planting Michigan native plants in your home garden. 


Create your own low maintenance mini-greenhouse using a milk jug and native seeds called Winter Sowing.

Winter Sowing Workshop:

WHEN: January 29, 10:30-11:30 am

WHERE: Dinosaur Hill Nature Center, 333 North Hill Cir, Rochester Hills, 48307

COST: $15 (covers all supplies and funds to support Dinosaur Hill), $5 for additional supplies

This is a great opportunity if you have never done a winter native seed sowing project, have questions about how it works or would just like to gather with others to get one started for this year.

The Rochester Pollinators will guide you through setting it up, explain why this is an important process and answer any of your questions. Supplies will include containers, soil, 2 types of native wildflower seeds and all that you will need to put your planters together and sow your seeds.

January 29 Winter Sowing Workshop 

NOTE: We are aware of the rising numbers of COVID infection right now in Michigan and care about the safety of all.  We respectfully asked that masks be worn during the workshop.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions.
Winter SowingRecording Available for “Grow Back Better” Presentation at the Rochester Hills Public Library (RHPL

In September, Marilyn Trent and Stephanie Smith shared a presentation at the RHPL regarding pollinator-friendly landscape practices for fall clean-up and preparation for winter. Many people requested that the recording be made public and the RHPL has uploaded it onto YouTube. You can access this presentation at Fall Garden Clean Up & Plantings to Grow Back Better.

New Native Seed Library at Dinosaur Hill Nature Center Opened Friday, December 10th!

The Rochester Pollinators are excited to announce a new Seed Library located at the Dinosaur Hill Nature Center at 333 North Hill Circle, Rochester MI 48307. The Seed Library is inside the building near the T. Rex dinosaur statue. 

Winter Hours:
Fridays and Saturdays, 12pm-5pm

The Seed Library contains a variety of seeds from Michigan native plants and they are there for you to “borrow” for free!

Detailed instructions are provided on location, but here is a brief run-down for how to borrow seeds:

  1. Membership is free, but you need to fill out a brief membership form.
  2. Browse the collection and choose seeds you would like to plant. There is a limit of 5 different plants per person, and one seed pack per plant. 
  3. We recommend getting your seeds by January or February at the latest and then sowing them directly into containers outside. Detailed instructions are provided onsite.
  4. After your plants grow and then go to seed at the end of the growing season, please collect some seeds and return to the Rochester Pollinators in labeled containers or bags. Your returned seeds will help the Rochester Pollinators ensure our Seed Library continues to grow and increase the number of Michigan native plants for our pollinators. 

Winter is an Ideal Time to Plant Native Seeds

Native seeds are best sown in fall or winter--just the way nature does it! The “Fall Garden Clean Up & Plantings to Grow Back Better” presentation at the RHPL (included above) contains information about winter sowing. Here is another detailed resource that we can recommend: Autumn and Winter Seed Sowing in Six Easy Steps. Happy Sowing!

Upcoming Winter Sowing Workshop: Stay tuned for information about two opportunities to attend a hands-on Winter Sowing Workshop, offered January 15 and 29, 2022! Times and details are forthcoming.


Spread the Word


The mission of Rochester Pollinators is to provide education and resources to protect the Monarch butterfly and other pollinators by reintroducing native plants into local landscapes.



Butterflies and other pollinators have experienced significant declines across the globe. The monarch butterfly population alone has decreased up to 75%–90% depending upon the year.

Pollinators are being threatened by a number of factors, including habitat loss, increased pesticide use, and introduced diseases. In the United States, a vast majority of land has been altered in some way, including the creation of 40 million of acres of lawns which often lack the native plants needed to support pollinators.



Nearly 90% of all flowering plants, which include fruit and vegetable crops, depend on pollinators. This means that most of our favorite foods would either totally disappear or be extremely rare and expensive. Some of these foods include:

  • Honey
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Avocados
  • Cherries
  • Almonds
  • Blueberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash


Low Maintenance: 
 These amazing plants have evolved with our natural landscapes and climate. They have deep roots that require less watering than non-native species. Once established in your garden, they require very little maintenance, and they come back every year. They support pollinators at every stage of their lives and they feed the birds. 

Less Money: 
Native plants are perennials and grow back each year. They don’t need fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides which you don’t have to purchase.

Healthy & Safe: 
These plants are healthy for the pollinators and are healthy for you. Suburban lawns on average have 10 times more chemical pesticides than farms. Native plants are better adapted to our climate and eliminate the need for toxic chemicals. Thus providing a safe environment for our wildlife and families.


Did you know that our current Mayor, Stuart Bikson, and former mayors, Cathy Dalton and Rob Ray, have each signed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge?

Cities across the Midwest are taking the pledge to try and save the Monarch butterfly and Rochester officially joined that list in 2018. The Mayors’ Monarch Pledge is a program that is aimed at helping the Monarch increase in population and flourish. 

Mayor Rob Ray stated, "With our wealth of natural habitat in the city, Rochester is in an ideal position to lead on the issue of helping support our Monarch butterfly and our pollinators." 

Check out all the cities involved in the Mayor's Monarch Pledge!


Plant a Pollinator Garden and Restore our Native Habitats 
One important way you can help is by planting a pollinator-friendly garden with native plants. Make sure you include milkweed! Milkweed is the only plant that Monarch butterflies can lay their eggs on. Milkweed leaves are the only food that Monarch caterpillars can eat. There are many different native plants that look beautiful in your garden and are important for other butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other birds. Please reach out to us at with your questions. 

You can help save our ecosystem one pollinator at a time! 

Report Monarch butterfly sightings online at
Learn more about the Monarch Butterfly.

Volunteer, buy our swag at Bizzy Buzz in downtown Rochester, buy Michigan native plants at the Rochester Farmers Market. All proceeds go to the Butterfly Pledge. To donate write a check to the City of Rochester and mail to 400 Sixth Street, Rochester, MI 48307 and indicate it is for the Butterfly Pledge. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and email us at to sign-up for our newsletter. 

One more wonderful thing to love about Rochester! 

To learn more about the monarch, visit


Butterfly Milkweed - Orange Blossoms - 1’-3’ tall - Full sun

Rose Milkweed - Deer resistant - Beautiful Pink Blossoms- 3’-4’ tall - Full-partial sun

Spread the Word

  • See a butterfly? Plant native plants? Tag us! #rochesterpollinators
  • Give us a shout out by tagging the City Beautiful Commission on Facebook. We would love to see what you are doing to help our local pollinators!
  • Remember to like the City Beautiful Commission Facebook page

Start Growing Native!

Fall is the Best Time to Plant your Native Seeds & Plants

By planting your native plants and seeds in the fall, they will be larger and bloom better during next year’s growing season than the same plant planted next spring.