A collaboration of volunteers, city of Mountain View commissioners and staff, and Google Inc.’s financial help is creating opportunities for native plants and pollinators to flourish in sites around Mountain View.
A $30,000 grant from Google supports three sites for native plants and pollinators. Phase 1 is a half-acre within the 9-acre North East Meadowland area. Phase 2 includes two sites: 2.7 acres near Pond 1 at Shoreline Golf and 4.5 acres near Pond 2 on the golf course.
The projects are scheduled to wrap up next year.
Local residents began a pollinator park near Cuesta Park. Silja Paymer, organizer of the digging, planting and mulching, said there were others who shared her interest in integrating native plants in the Cuesta Park Annex.
According to Paymer, Howard Higley wanted to beautify a place to support pollinators, and Shani Kleinhaus, environmental advocate for the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, wanted to restore habitat for wildlife. They shared a desire to plant in underused spaces including parks, curbside strips of land and planter boxes in street medians.
Support from a Happy Hollow Pollinator Grant paid for plant purchases. The city supplied mulch and water free of charge.
The organizers received approval and began to work with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department in March 2020. The city required liability sponsorship through an outside organization, Paymer said. Kleinhaus secured it through her relationship with the Audubon Society. Paymer credits city leaders for help crossing the “finish line,” which entailed installing accessible water sources and completing contracts.
As Paymer, Higley and Kleinhaus reached out to the Cuesta neighborhood, they gained new participants, including Mary Dateo, a landscaper who designed the planting plan, and Betty Ward, a master gardener.