From the Experts: Holiday Gift Ideas for Friends of Pollinators

MARY WALLER
Director of the Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative


Whether you are looking for the perfect holiday “something” for a gardening family member, wracking you brain for the perfect hostess gift for that friend who always stops and looks at the butterflies, or are wanting to inspire wonder when taking a unique gift to a curious child, Okies for Monarchs has you covered! Check out this winter-wildlife-wants “wish list” guaranteed to bring holiday cheer! From seed bombs to pollinator puddlers – you can be the coolest elf this season.

Okies for Monarchs, an initiative of the Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinators Collaborative, has a passion and mission to engage, educate and inspire Oklahomans to help pollinators and restore habitat. A few key things needed by pollinators, indeed all wildlife need, are: water, food, shelter and a place to raise their young.

In that spirit, and in time for the season of giving, the Okies for Monarchs team recommends a few unique holiday gifts that “give” to nature and are guaranteed to inspire others:

  • “Bee” the best secret Santa with a surprise bee house! Made of wood, reeds, bamboo and other natural materials, many unique shapes and sizes are available for pole or wall-mounted bee “homes” or “condos” that provide shelter for solitary and beneficial bee species. Or, make your own! Check out a few styles.
  • How about providing a “water feeder” for nature under the Christmas tree or to take as a hostess gift?! Sometimes called “puddlers,” these saucers (big and small) can be hung from a limb or set on a surface and are just the right size for butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators to hydrate. See examples.
  • Visit your local nursery, or one of the many great native plant growers across our state (in person, by phone or online) to order “ready to plant” milkweed or other native plants for delivery to your door (via mail) or to a spring plant festival near you (delivery w/out the shipping charges). Check out some of the many insecticide-free Oklahoma nurseries and vendors. Gift certificates may also be available from many growers. Shop local when you can!
  • Buy non-GMO wildflower seeds just right for Oklahoma native (or migrating) birds, bees and butterflies through certified organic growers. Check out the native varieties available at Johnstonseeds.com.
  • Some butterflies and bats like upscale digs too. Check out a variety to purchase (or inspirational styles that you could DIY).
  • On a budget, or simply like to give gifts with a personal touch? Looking for a project to do with the children or at a party with a conservation-starter twist? Need a teacher gift? Wildflower seed “bombs” are fun to make, give and plant. You can research best perennial seeds for your Oklahoma eco-region (at plants.usda.gov
  • Make a donation to Okies for Monarchs and support the advancement of pollinator-friendly gardening, best land management practices, and habitat enhancement across Oklahoma. Our volunteers can buy seeds, travel to provide education to schools and community groups, and print resource materials with financial gifts made through the Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma Foundation. Donate today.

Do you have more great gardening gift ideas or pollinator projects that would make holiday festivities more fun? Please share your ideas (and photos) on your social media feed and tag #OkiesforMonarchs.


MARY WALLER is the director of the Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinators Collaborative. She is a 20-year-veteran communications consultant, award-winning writer, and “not by the book” gardener. She hopes Santa will bring her a bat house this year.