Walmart Inc. revealed that it has planted 21 pollinator gardens at stores in Oregon, Washington state and North Carolina. The gardens are designed to beautify the stores’ outdoor grounds while aiming to increase such pollinators as bees and butterflies, which have experienced population declines in recent decades.
The first garden was planted in April 2019 at a Walmart store in Garner, N.C., with another unveiled at Walmart’s global corporate headquarters, in Bentonville, Ark. The rest, in the Pacific Northwest, debuted in late April or early May.
Some of Walmart’s pollinator gardens feature milkweed, a plant used by monarch butterflies for shelter, food and laying eggs. Walmart said that it hopes that the gardens will spur its shoppers, employees and local community members to plant their own. Customers interested in buying pollinator flower seeds can ask a lawn and garden associate for further information.
“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, who is part 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.”
Besides the Garner and Bentonville sites, Walmart’s pollinator gardens are currently located in five Oregon cities, among them Redmond and Pendleton, and 14 cities in Washington state, including Aberdeen, Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Lakewood and Yakima.
The pilot is part of the mega-retailer’s larger commitment to leverage its size and scale for good and do business in a way that helps to improve economic opportunity, encourage sustainability and bolster local communities.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and ecommerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. The company is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.