Marin pollinator event info

Fall Pollinator Events Return in 2022


Fall Pollinator Events & Integrated Pest Management Tips/Q&A will resume this year at three of our Ace Hardware stores:

  • Friday 10/28 – Pittsburg Ace, 125 E. Leland Rd., Pittsburg CA 11am-2pm
  • Saturday 10/29 – Oakley Ace, 3100 Main St., Oakley CA 11am-2pm
  • Sunday 10/30 – Laurel Ace, 4024 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland CA 11am-2pm

Free events – open to all the community.

Our Water Our World representatives will be on hand at all three Fall Pollinator events, to answer customers’ questions and to teach customers about how planting natives should be part of every garden’s integrated pest management efforts.

The goal of these stores’ Fall Pollinator Events, is to raise awareness & to encourage customers to plant (neonicotinoid-free) flowers that bloom over the winter, for pollinators to forage. Integrated Pest Management is the other focus of the event(s), for healthy gardens without pesticides polluting our land & stormwater. Michelle Leopold, the “Mom” in these Mom & Pop Ace Hardware stores, began this event in 2011 in response to the Sudden Colony Collapse among bee colonies throughout the country, due to the neonicotinoids being sprayed on plants. Gratefully, few plant nurseries now use neonics on their plants. All Stan’s Hardware Stores’ nurseries are proudly neonic-free.

Bees and neonicitinoidsThe Laurel Ace Pollinator Event will also host an Observation Hive, and offer free honey sampling from local hives, in addition to having local honey for sale. Pollinator-friendly plant seeds will also be given out at the Oakland event, in celebration of the store’s 101st birthday and new 2nd floor retail space, at the “Laurel Ace Grows UP” event October 28-30. 10% of all live goods sold on 10/30 at Laurel Ace will be donated to the Alameda County Beekeepers Association.

For more information on Fall Pollinator Events at Stan’s Hardware, contact Michelle Leopold, the “Mom” in Stan’s Hardware’s Mom & Pop Ace Hardware Stores, at [email protected]

For more information on Our Water Our World and eco-friendly pest control, visit

Why Help Pollinators?

Bees & Neonicitinoids“Mom” Michelle Leopold saw a screening of the Queen of the Sun documentary at 142 Throckmorton in Mill Valley in 2012, and was immediately moved to action in stopping the use of neonicotinoids at her stores. As the owner of two local Ace Hardware stores in the SF Bay Area at the time, Michelle knew she could make a difference, and immediately made sure that the plants that they were selling were neonic-free (they were). Since then, she has labeled the pesticides containing neonics “harmful to pollinators” and continues to work closely with the Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program’s (MCSTOPPP) Our Water Our World program. She has also worked with the national buyers at Ace Hardware’s corporate office in raising awareness throughout the 5,000+ locally-owned Ace Hardware stores, of the harmfulness of neonics to pollinators.

Michelle was delighted when the national plant vendor for the Ace co-op changed in 2014 to neonic-free plants — a switch other “big box” stores had not yet been able to make. As a leader of Ace stores’ move away from neonicotinoids, Michelle’s actions at Marin Ace were cited in the 5/15 article when Ace Hardware announced that they would move away from products and plants containing neonics.

Marin Ace’s commitment to bees and other pollinators was featured in the cover story of the 2017 Hardware Retailing Magazine’s story “What does it mean to be green?” Read more about how Michelle and Jeff Promote an Earth-Friendly Oasis for Birds, Bees, Pets and People”

Laurel Ace, Oakley Ace, and now Pittsburg Ace now part of our Annual Fall Pollinator Events

Miguel Lisa Fall Pollinator Oakland 2018

Starting in 2017, Laurel Ace began holding a Fall Pollinator Event, only stopping in 2020 & 2021 for the coronavirus. Our Laurel District neighbors in Oakland loved having Lisa R from Alameda County Clean Water Program/Our Water Our World, and Ronni and Pam from the Alameda County Beekeepers Association brought their Observation Hive and delicious local honey. 20% of all live goods sold during the Oakland Fall Pollinator Weekends were donated to Oakland’s Pollinator Posse. 2017 Press Release here

Oakley Ace joined the buzz in 2019 with their first Fall Pollinator Event, with Integrated Pest Management tabling by Our Water Our World. Oakley Ace donated profits of 20% of their event’s live goods sold to local pollinator efforts in 2019.

In 2022, Pittsburg Ace will hold their first Pollinator Event with Charlotte from Our Water Our World tabling on Friday 10/28, and then she’ll set up at Oakley Ace on Saturday 10/29. Both events will be 11am-2pm. In addition to pollinator-friendly plant shopping and Q&As, customers are encouraged to learn more about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to have a pesticide-free garden.

Bee in Marin


Thank you Bonnie Morse of Bonnie Bee and Company for this great new resource:

Plants for pollinators

Updated July, 2020

We believe in eco-friendly garden products!

We’ve added in many products that we–and our customers–know are better for the earth, our pollinators, our pets, our children, and our plants. From insecticides and rodenticides, fertilizers and plant food, we carry many great products including these from Safer (including diatomaceous earth), Fresh Cab, Orange Guard, Terro, Why, Rescue, Sluggo, EB Stone, Black Gold, Dr. Earth, Alaska, EcoSmart, EarthKind, and Bonide.

Marin Ace’s 4th Annual Fall Pollinator Event – 2017:

Fall Pollinator Event 10/14-15

In 2017, Marin Ace encourages everyone to have plants in your garden every fall and winter that bees and other pollinators can forage over the winter.

Due to that week’s devastating fires in the North Bay, on  Friday 10/13/17: Marin Ace announced they would double-match the donation from the 2017 Fall Pollinator Event – another 20% of proceeds from the weekend’s live goods sales will be donated in plants and supplies to replenish bee habitats after the Northern California Fires. Everyone involved in the planning of this year’s pollinator event was so sorry to hear that at least 12 beekeepers lost everything in the fires – including their bees.

Special events in 2017 included:

  • Observation Hive and Marin Beekeepers Q&A
  • Kids’ Pollen Collecting Activity
  • Integrated Pest Management Table with Our Water Our World

Local beekeepers were on hand to give great advice about ways you can help our pollinators and have a healthy garden for everyone. Thanks for helping our pollinators! We wouldn’t BEE here without them!

We were delighted to partner with the Marin Beekeepers Association for our fourth annual Fall Pollinator Event in 2017, and 20% of all plants and seeds purchased that weekend were donated to the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund.

Annie's Annuals LogoTHANK YOU Annie’s Annuals for coming to the rescue of our Pollinator Event!

We were saddened to hear of the fires surrounding our plant provider Blooms in Glen Ellen, and they were not able to ship our order for the Fall Pollinator Event. Annie’s stepped in, (we were hoping to add their unusual & heirloom plants to our mix anyways!) and we are now delighted to offer a fabulous selection of neonic-free, pollinator-friendly plants from Annie’s Annuals at Marin Ace.


Blooms logo

Our heartfelt support goes out to the team at Blooms, and all the other businesses and individuals dramatically affected by the NorCal Fires.

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