Situated along the Rouge River Gateway Trail in the Environmental Interpretive Center’s Pollinator Garden is a block- M like no other on the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. The Go Blue! Insect Hotel is a human-made structure created from natural materials intended to provide shelter and nesting sites for beneficial garden insects and invertebrates including beetles, solitary bees, centipedes, thread-waist wasps, lacewings, spiders, wood lice, and millipedes. Building materials include logs, bark, dried sticks, bamboo, spruce and pine cones. These provide ‘homes’ for wildlife. For example, holes of specific known dimensions were drilled in the logs to provide locations for organisms like leaf-cutter and mason bees to make chambers where their eggs could be laid and provisioned with food so that they could safely develop into larvae, and, ultimately, adults.
This project was funded by a Ford MODEL Teams “Better World” Grant awarded in spring 2016. Along with EIC staff and students, 15 Ford employees, almost all of whom were UM-Dearborn graduates, gathered on campus to assemble and build the 10-by-6-foot structure as part of Ford’s community service-focused Accelerated Action Day.