Southboro Open Land Foundation

people looking over meadow at sunset

Pollination Preservation Garden – The Whit Beals Garden

Published on June 19, 2023 by Eileen Samberg

Note: In September 2023, the garden was dedicated as The Whit Beals Garden: Biodiversity Through Pollination in memory of Whit Beals. Read about it here.


Be sure to stop by and admire the Native Pollination Preservation Garden on the Main Street field of SOLF’s Beals Preserve. The garden is located by the intersection of the path from the Main Street parking lot to the lane leading to the bridge over the aqueduct. The garden is a partnership project of the Southborough Open Space Preservation Commission (OSPC), and SOLF, led by Freddie Gillespie, Chair of OSPC.

Preliminary work for the garden was done in the summer and fall of 2021, and installation was in July of 2022. The native plant selection is based on Dr. Robert Gegear’s list for at-risk bumblebees. Dr. Gegear is an assistant professor of biology at University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Dr. Gegear has been working with the OSPC since 2015, and Breakneck Hill Conservation Land was his first research site in the state. We are thrilled that Dr. Gegear has documented Bombus Vagans, an at-risk bumblebee, at the Beals Preserve garden in June 2023.

Many volunteers continue to work on weeding and cleanup of the garden. If you have an interest in helping out, please email Freddie Gillespie.

To learn more about pollinators at risk, both bumblebees and butterflies, and to see recommended native plants, go to Dr. Gegear’s website.