"The Birds and the Bees: Pollinators & Native Gardens" exhibit highlights St. Louis Public Library's new pollinator garden and explores the pollination process. The exhibit runs from June 10-September 29 at Central Library, 1301 Olive Street.
In 2017, SLPL installed Manolo Valdes’ sculpture "Mariposas" (Butterflies) outside Central Library. The enormous and breathtaking public artwork was installed in three separate pieces by way of a crane over Central's east terrace wall.
The sculpture is owned by the Gateway Foundation. It measures 15'1" H x 31'2" W x 16'5” D and is the second-largest piece in Gateway’s collection of 55 pieces displayed throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area.
With Mariposas in place, the Library wanted to create an environment that was welcoming to real living butterflies to complement the butterflies reflected in the sculpture. To do so meant reimagining the manicured grass setting that was typical of the sculpture’s previous installations. The idea for a butterfly garden soon morphed into that of an ecologically responsible, all-native pollinator garden that is as much science as it is art.
The Pollinator Garden was installed in Fall 2018 and features 27 native plant species that are set to bloom throughout the year. A “pollinator drinking fountain” behind the sculpture uses spritzers and uneven paver stones to provide fresh, untreated water to the pollinators. Additionally, large swaths of the garden are intentionally kept free of mulch to provide ground-nesting resources for the pollinators who make the garden their home.
Click here for a list of programming during the exhibit.
The garden was made possible by support and collaboration from: