Going Green at Home: Support Pollinators
Spring is here! While many of our normal spring activities are cancelled this year, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy springtime in Utah and do your part for the planet.
Maybe you’re a skilled gardener, or maybe you want a new hobby to brighten up your front yard. Whatever the case may be, one of the best ways to go green from home is to make a home for pollinators.
Make Your Yard a Monarch Waystation
The migratory monarch butterflies help pollinate natural spaces across the country. Sadly, habitat loss has lead to a rapid decline in monarch populations that mirrors declines in other pollinator species. In the Rocky Mountains, the monarch butterfly population has declined over 97%.
However, we can help monarchs by giving them their favorite plant: milkweed. Monarchs love milkweed. In fact, it is the only plant that monarch caterpillars eat. Without milkweed, monarchs cannot survive. You can help protect monarchs and other pollinators by creating a monarch friendly habitat or waystation in your yard.
In Utah, the Showy Milkweed and Swamp Milkweed are the most common milkweed species. Adult monarchs and other pollinators also benefit from having other native nectar-rich plants around. You can order milkweed seeds from Save Our Monarchs or your favorite seed seller. Find more information about Utah’s native plants here!
Another way to support monarch conservation is by becoming a Citizen Scientist. Help track milkweed and monarchs throughout the state and contribute to our scientific understanding of monarch populations and habitats. By protecting monarchs, we support biodiversity in our local environments.
Build a Bee House
Planting milkweed and supporting biodiversity in your neighborhood also helps bees! At SLCgreen, we love bees. With over 900 native bee species, Utah truly is the beehive state.
As bees work hard to find nectar and help our gardens grow, they sometimes need a place to rest. Mason bees and other species of solitary bees rest in small alcoves where they can be safe from predators. By building a bee house, you can make your yard a safe haven for these pollinators. Creating a bee house is a fun DIY project. And if you take good care of your bee house, it can be a great way to support bees in your yard!
Go Pesticide Free
Possibly the best way to protect butterflies, bees, and other pollinators is by going pesticide free. Pesticides are linked to bee deaths including colony collapse disorder. Moreover, they are harmful to children and pets who may come in contact with pesticides more directly. Keeping your yard and garden pesticide free is a great way to protect everyone’s health.
One way to reduce the need for pesticide in your yard is by planting native plants. Not only do native plants attract native pollinators, they are often better adapted to our local environment. Check out these pollinator friendly plants and find out how you can make your garden pesticide free!
While we may be stuck in our own 6-foot bubbles, we can all work together to protect the environment and make our gardens bloom this spring! Stay healthy and help protect the pollinators!
Find more ways to protect pollinators at the Pollinator Partnership website.