Wolf River Wildlife Education Area

Four Pollinator Habitat Beds are one part of the Wolf River Wildlife Education Area, an ongoing project led by the Wolf River Conservancy in partnership with Shelby Farms Park. It is located at the Lucius Burch Natural Area Trailhead, also referred to as the Wolf River Refuge Trailhead, at the southeast corner of Shelby Farms Park near the Wolf River (MAP).  Besides the four pollinator habitat beds in the parking lot, the Wildlife Education Area features a chimney swift tower, a purple martin gourd rack, a bat house, and several other nest boxes around the forest edge. There is also an observation deck over a created wetland, as well as field and forest habitats and the nearby Wolf River.  


Guide to the Pollinator Habitat Beds
The Plants

With a few exceptions, all of the plants in the habitat beds are native plants which are beneficial to native insects.  For each bed, the plants are listed below.  Please check back for more information and photos in the future!

Pollinator Habitat Bed #1                                                    Pollinator Habitat Bed #2

Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)                                         Viburnum burkwoodii 

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)                                 Possumhaw Viburnum

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)                                           Switchgrass

Broomsedge Bluestem (Andropogon virginicus)                   Broomsedge Bluestem

Ironweed (Vernonia altissima)                                               Ironweed          

Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)                                                  Common Milkweed (larval host plant, Monarch)

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)                             Blazing Star       

Bee Balm or Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)                          Passion Vine (larval host plant)

Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)                                      Coral Honeysuckle

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)                                Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)                                        Bee Balm

Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum)                               Purple Coneflower

Viburnum burkwoodii (exotic hybrid)                                     Boneset                                

Possumhaw Viburnum (Viburnum nudum)                           Joe Pye Weed

Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)                        Evening Primrose

Passionvine (Passiflora incarnata)                                        Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) (larval host plant,                                                                                                                                                              Black Swallowtail)                                                                                                                                                                        

Pollinator Habitat Bed #3                                                       Pollinator Habitat Bed #4

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)                                  Buttonbush

Possumhaw Viburnum (Viburnum nudum)                               Possumhaw Viburnum

Burkwood Viburnum (Viburnum burkwoodii)                            Burkwood Viburnum

Blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)                                         Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Passion Vine (Passiflora incarnata)                                         Aromatic Aster (Aster oblongifolius)

Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa)                                                 Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Aromatic Aster (Aster oblongifolius)                                        Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)                             Little Bluestem

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)                                Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa)

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)                                   Fireworks Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa)

Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)                           White False Indigo (Baptisia alba)

Star Tickseed (Coreopsis pubescens)                                     Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)                                 

Dwarf Blazing Star (Liatris microcephala)

Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)



The Insects

Butterflies (most easily observed mid-June to mid-October)

(Not a complete list)  Tiger Swallowtail, Spicebush Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail, Monarch, Viceroy, Gulf Fritillary, Pearl Crescent, Questionmark, Comma, Hairstreak, Sleepy Orange, Clouded Sulphur, Silver-sided Skipper, Fiery Skipper

Moths: Hummingbird Clearwing, Eight-spotted Forester