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This nature park is dedicated to preserving declining pollinator populations

 A sign at Firefly Park reading "pollinator habitat"
Sariah Israelsen

Located right next to Heritage Park in Nibley City are sidewalks running through a field of grass, leading to a butterfly-shaped pollinator garden. At first, you may not notice anything special about it, but after a closer look, you’ll start to see the unique beauty of Firefly Park.

During the day, monarch butterflies, bees and other insects live among the native plants and flowers grown by volunteers. And at night, you’ll see the sky light up with fireflies, which is where the park gets its name.

“Firefly kind of has it all," said Becky Yeager, conservational biologist and volunteer for Firefly Park.

Yeager said that even though the firefly population is small, people line the sidewalks at night to get a view of them. The fireflies will start coming out in mid-June to early July.

“We hardly have any fireflies in the valley or even in the state. It's one of the few places that's public where people can come out and view them at night," Yeager said.

The 20-acre park has been around since 2019 and according to the Nibley City website, it’s illegal to capture or disrupt wildlife in the park, making this a safe place for these little creatures to call home.

An outdoor classroom will be built in late summer, allowing more learning opportunities for the community.

Yeager has also been involved in an ongoing effort to protect pollinators. She tries to educate the public on the effects pesticides have on pollinators which she says are in decline.

“So, it's just good to have people be aware that we have pollinators out there, and they're significantly impacted by loss of habitat and pesticide use and things that we do in our own yard to take out unwanted plants and unwanted insects," Yeager said.

And besides, Yeager doesn’t think there is any reason to get rid of any kind of insect.

“What's not to like about every bug?” Yeager said.

To protect the future of pollinators, the Utah Pollinator Habitat Program is going into its second year contracting nurseries throughout Utah to put together pollinator habitat kits that will be given out to qualified applicants.