Best Practices Introduction

When designing landscape in backyards and open spaces, keep pollinators in mind.

monarch best practices goldenrod
Monarch (Danaus plexippus) on goldenrod (Solidago rigida) in a backyard prairie. photo:  Laurie Schneider

This website offers guidance on best practices for land management in urban and suburban yards, vegetable gardens, and parks and open spaces.

Land management, landscape designs and gardening for biodiversity with a variety of color and plant forms provides many benefits:

  • Beauty & diversity: The energy and activity of birds and insects, and the season change of both plants and animals provide diversity and visual enjoyment. Native plants in landscapes support a food web including birds, insects, and other animals. A variety of plant species provide food and shelter for birds and beneficial insects which help control pest insects.
  • Water filtration / carbon sequestration: Native plants are mostly perennial and have extensive root systems that hold soil and slow runoff. Particulate matter accumulates and the plants themselves absorb chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorous that would otherwise enter groundwater.
  • Reduced erosion: Native plant root systems hold soil and reduce erosion. Shoreline buffer strips slow down water so it soaks into the soil, rather than racing down to the lake. 
  • Increased property values: People want to live in communities with clean water, land and habitats that attract wildlife, birds and pollinators.
  • Less maintenance:  Once native plantings become established, they require less time, maintenance, mowing and watering, which conserves valuable water resources.
  • Less cost:  Biodiverse landscapes and low-mow lawns use fewer or no herbicides and pesticides. Native plants are self-sustaining, overwinter, and support wildlife including beneficial insects, pollinators and native birds.

 

What makes a plant a good pollinator plant