Pathways for Pollinators

Helping Pollinators Thrive

Available on Wednesdays and Saturdays

All Ages


About the Program

Pollinators are a vital part of our ecosystem. When bees, butterflies or other insects visit flowers in search of nectar, they spread pollen which results in seed production that is necessary for many plants to reproduce. Pollination is performed by insects (butterflies, bees, beetles, etc.), along with some birds,bats and other animals. Pollinators are responsible for fertilizing ¾ of world’s crops, resulting in seeds and the fruits. It is estimated that around 90% of plant species outside of agriculture depend on animal-mediated pollination. This means that without pollinators much of the food, drinks,fibers, spices, medicines and beautiful plant life we enjoy would disappear.

Unfortunately,the open spaces in the Bay Area are disappearing as human development is expanding. Consequently, the wildlife which depends on this land for survival is disappearing. This is especially true for butterflies and other insects which fall prey to chemical pesticides, invasion of foreign plants and competition from non-native animal species. By creating a pollinator garden,you help offset the damage.

Conservation Approach

1.     Make a Pollinator Friendly Habitat

Plant native plants in your yard or in a small outside container. Check out these helpful resources:

·       Butterfly Gardening in the Bay Area

·       Building Native Bee Hotels

·       DIY Hummingbird Feeder

2.     Say“NO” to Pesticides

Pesticides are lethal to pollinators. Use this recipe for natural spray that does no harm to bees or butterflies: 1½ tsp mild liquid soap + 4 cup water = an economical eco-spray that keeps away aphids, slugs, ants and other unwanted insects.

3.     Keep habitats healthy and trash-free

Pollinators – and all animals – thrive in a trash free environment. Join Oakland Zoo the 3rd Saturday of every month for Arroyo Viejo Creek Clean-up.

4.     Join a network of caring citizen scientists

Collaborate with others by downloading a citizen science app. We like Bumble Bee WatchMonarch Milkweed Mapper, or iNaturalist.

Oakland Zoo Takes Action

Oakland Zoo shares a concern for the future of pollinating insects such as bees,butterflies and beetles. To support pollinators and other pollinating wildlife,the zoo has planted three blooming butterfly gardens and a variety of natives all over the zoo grounds. In addition, we are in the planning stages of creating an expansive, ecological recovery zone. Oakland Zoo also refrains from using any insecticides on zoo grounds. Not only is this safer for the animals at the zoo but it also helps the larger ecosystem thrive.

Oakland Zoo strives to be a steward for our local ecosystem. We monitor and keep the Arroyo Viejo creek clean of trash and free of non-native invasive species. This helps keep the bay clean and helps local insects and animals thrive.

You Can Too

Join Oakland Zoo in Making Pathways for Pollinators! Creating “pocket habitats” help pollinators survive in our cities. Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds will thank you.

1.     Plant native plants

2.     Let us know! Email us at

3.     Post it on Social Media #Pollinators #OaklandZoo #TakingAction

Let’s see how many square feet of pollinator habitat we can grow together!