Step 2: Provide Water Sources for Pollinators

Water Sources

Pollinators need water for many purposes, including drinking, cooling, and reproduction.  Butterflies, for example, will gather and sip at shallow pools, mud puddles or even birdbaths.  You may already have a natural water source, such as a pond or stream.  If not, you can create a water source.  This can be as easy as adding a birdbath or a puddling area, or as complex as installing a water garden.  You can also provide water by hanging a dripping bottle, or placing a small container of water out in the open. Be sure to change the water 2-3 times per week during warm weather when mosquitoes are breeding. It’s also helpful to place rocks in your birdbath or small container for insects to land on when they are collecting water.

All water sources should be within 200-ft of the certification area and should provide a continuous supply while pollinators are active. Vernal pools and intermittent streams are not considered reliable water sources for pollinators because they tend to dry up during the summer months.

For more information on providing water sources, click on the publications below:

  • Water for Wildlife, Pennsylvania Wildlife Sheet, Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences

In order to certify, your garden needs one or more of the following:

  • Birdbath or shallow water source
  • Butterfly puddling area
  • Water garden or pond
  • Local spring
  • Natural body of water, such as a lake or river

PROCEED TO STEP 3: Provide Shelter