National Pollinator Garden Network
We have partnered with the National Pollinator Garden Network in support of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge developed in conjunction with the White House’s National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the challenge at her recent Let’s Move initiative. The goal of the campaign is to register a million public and private gardens and landscapes to support pollinators.
Pollinators are responsible for 1 out of 3 bites of food eaten each day, and yet pollinators are at critical point in their own survival. One of the reasons for the decline is lack of habitat. Providing native landscaping in our yards will increase more nectar and pollen sources. Providing native flowering plants and trees will help improve the health and numbers of native pollinators — bees, butterflies, birds, bats and many others across the country.
Planting a Pollinator Garden
Gardeners show they care deeply about the environment and their connection to nature when they plant gardens made up of native plants. While providing food and shelter for monarchs and other pollinators, they also help to conserve native plants, reduce habitat fragmentation and increase biodiversity in the landscapes. Healthy ecosystems directly affect the quality of our food, water and air—and what could be more important than that?
Planting a native pollinator garden is fairly easy. After reading Wild Ones “steps to success” for planting a native plant butterfly habitat garden, feel free to share a copy of the preprinted Wild for Monarchs brochure with your neighbors, friends, family and local and federal legislators. E-mail Wild Ones to request your free copy or copies to share.
Burpee Seed Packets
Please be aware that if you should receive one of the Burpee seed packets mentioned in the press release above that it does contain some natives, but Wild Ones members have found that there are also Eurasian species in the mix. Read the seed mix carefully to make certain the non-natives in the mix are not on the exotic pest plant list for your state. And above all watch out for instant pollinator gardens that come as wildflower seed mixes in a bag or can. Consider that not all natives are native to the entire country, nor are their ecotypes. The Wild Ones guidelines for selecting native ecotypes could be very helpful to you in selecting appropriate species for your area.
Wild Ones Mission
Preserving, restoring and establishing native plant communities is the most effective way to preserve habitat for native pollinators – bees, butterflies, ants and bats. Wild Ones sees these partnerships as a step toward more native habitat development, management and protection. And although monarch butterflies are not generally considered pollinators, through these efforts they will also find improved habitat and sustenance to maintain their presence on this Earth.
Native pollinators are an essential part of a healthy environment and our very livelihood. Wild Ones and our partners will continue to educate the public about the importance of maintaining native habitat for our native pollinators and to promote the use of appropriate native landscaping best practices. And, how boring would life be if we couldn’t anticipate the monarch butterflies migration each spring and fall….
Wild Ones Butterfly Garden Recognition Program
If you register for the Wild Ones Butterfly Garden/Habitat Program you will automatically be registered in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. The goal of the Wild Ones Butterfly Garden Program is to not only provide information about how others have gone about using native plants to provide habitat for native butterflies, but also to develop a map of gardens and naturally landscaped habitats showing the connecting corridors for our pollinators and other wildlife. It is our goal to help as many people as possible become gardeners for life and to be part of that corridor lifeline so vital to our well-being and a healthy planet Earth.
The Duluth News Tribune carried an excellent review of the White House’s new strategy: “are all the backyard gardens between Minnesota and Mexico enough? How about roadsides and utility rights of ways, boulevards, county, state and federal parks?”
Do your part today — plant a pollinator garden, encourage your friends, neighbors and family to plant a pollinator garden. Then register your garden. Consider also contacting your legislators to help them understand the importance the American public feels the survival of pollinators is to our very own survival. Help them understand the importance of legislating the use of the many chemicals that are deadly to pollinators now being used in the growth of our food and the development of fuel. Join Wild Ones and give your support to native wildflowers and native pollinators.