Pollination Conservation Challenge
In Your Backyard or Schoolyard
- Groomed lawns are pollinator deserts. Consider replacing parts of your lawn that you do not use recreationally with pollinator gardens containing wild, flowering plants.
- If you live in the country, resist the urge to mow or remove existing native vegetation, as it provides pollinators and other wild animals with valuable habitat.
- Creating a pollinator garden in your schoolyard is a great way to learn about nature without going on a field trip. Some organizations will even give grants to schools interested in naturalizing their grounds (http://nativeplants.evergreen.ca/).
- Make sure you provide pollinators with a constant supply of flowers. Design your garden so that some plants are in flower all throughout the year (e.g., spring, summer and fall).
- Many horticultural varieties of plants are bred to look pretty, but are not visited by native insects (e.g., double flowers). If you grow non-native plants, select varieties that are still attractive to pollinators.
- Leave part of your yard a bit messy. Patches of bare ground, stumps, grass clumps and brush piles provide pollinating insects with habitat.
- Ground-nesting bees need bare ground. Avoid covering up all of your bare soil with mulch; leave some sunny areas exposed.
- Put up feeders or nesting boxes for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.
- Create a pollinator puddle by mixing sand, water, a little salt and some cut fruit in a shallow dish.
- Minimize pesticide use in your yard. Pesticides can kill pollinating insects. Handpicking or spraying soapy water may be sufficient to eliminate pests on a prized shrub or tree.
- Consider adding a pollinator garden you have created to our PlantSpotting App, so others can view your achievement!
Pollination Conservation Challenge - In Your Backyard or Schoolyard