garden with Walmart sign in background
STORE SPACES

Walmart takes store landscaping up a notch with pollinator gardens

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart is all abuzz about bees and butterflies.

Walmart has planted 21 pollinator gardens at retail locations throughout Oregon, Washington and North Carolina. The gardens serve a dual purpose in that they enhance the landscaping at the stores while helping to increase pollinators including bees and butterflies, which have suffered population declines in recent decades. (A pollinator garden is planted and designed with specific nectar and pollen-producing plants that attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.)

To kick off the pilot project, the first garden was planted in April 2019 at a Walmart store location in Garner, North Carolina. A garden has also been planted at Walmart’s global corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. The remaining gardens are in the Pacific Northwest and were planted in late April or early May.

Some of Walmart’s pollinator gardens include milkweed, a plant that monarch butterflies use for shelter, food and laying eggs. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, Monarch populations have dropped 90% in the past 20 years. Walmart hopes that the initiative will inspire customers, associates and other members of these local communities to plant their own pollinator gardens.

Walmart’s pollinator gardens are currently located in five cities in Oregon, including, Redmond and Pendleton; 14 cities in Washington, including Aberdeen, Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Lakewood, and Yakima; Garner, North Carolina; and Bentonville, Arkansas.

“We are delighted to initiate this pilot at some of our stores as these flower gardens enhance our landscaping and serve as an important habitat for the birds and insects that play a vital role in plant, vegetable and fruit reproduction,” said Wendy Widener, with Walmart’s environmental, health and safety compliance team. “We have received positive feedback from our customers and associates and are exploring opportunities to expand this project to additional store locations.”

This pollinator garden pilot is part of the company’s larger commitment to use its size and scale for good and do business in a way that aims to enhance economic opportunity, encourage sustainability and strengthen local communities.

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