The Pollinator Pathway Garden

As a landscape designer and environmental educator for many years in the Pacific Northwest, one of Emily's specialties was wildlife-friendly gardening and the use of native plants.  Upon moving to Arivaca, the first order of "business" was designing and building a 2000 sq. ft. home garden with those same principals.   And during the first months after buying the dancehall, she began designing a Pollinator Garden for the whole property, to benefit butterflies, bees, other beneficial insects, and hummingbirds.  Since the dancehall has hundreds of human visitors each year, the garden design included function as a place for public education on sustainable gardening practices.  It was planted in early spring 2021 (with a few 2022 & 2023 additions), and has grown more lush and vibrant each year! 

All wildlife have 4 basic needs: water, food, shelter, and nesting places, so the Pollinator Pathway Garden also provides bountiful habitat for many songbirds and lizards!   Organic compost and mulch are used to build and maintain healthy soil throughout, and no pesticides of any kind are used (or needed).

We hope you will take time to stroll through the Pollinator Pathway Garden areas anytime you visit the dancehall for an event!

Bees need the nectar and pollen from flowers in order to thrive, pollinate plants, and produce healthy offspring.  These native bees are smaller than a grain of rice! 

Butterflies like this Gulf Frittilary also need flower nectar, and need suitable plant leaves to lay their eggs so that their larvae (caterpillars) can thrive and go through metamorphosis to become adults.  

Ladybugs, lacewings, soldier beetles, and other pest-eating beneficial insects also need flower nectar during mating and reproduction, to produce healthy offspring (like this Ladybug larvae) which then feast on pest insects!

Hummingbirds are plentiful year-round in the Arivaca area, especially when you have "trumpets and teacups" (tubular-shaped flowers) blooming in your garden! 

The dancehall gardens are registered with the Xerces Society, an international nonprofit that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats.  Visit for a wealth of great info on ways you can create pollinator habitat in your garden too!

Even though the dancehall gardens are relatively young, they are already abuzz with pollinator activity!

In the summer of 2023, a beautiful three-sided mural was painted by Paul 'Nox' Pablo to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.  It was funded by a generous grant from a consortium of 36 non-profit organizations called ESA@50, and is surrounded by the dancehall's pollinator pathway gardens! 

Click on this link for more information on the mural project.

Plantlist for the Arivaca Dancehall Pollinator Pathway Garden


Firepit and Beyond:

+ = sprouted from seeds that were in the soil already

*  = planted by Hack and Emma Mae Townsend 

Click on this link for more information about the Arivaca Pollinator Pathway Project!