In the last 15 years, an estimated 40 acres of native vegetation pollinator habitats have been created in Golden Valley. About 24 acres were created by the City through the establishment of natural buffers and filter strips near water bodies. The remaining 16 acres were established by property owners like General Mills and local residents.
In 2019, the Golden Valley City Council adopted a resolution endorsing pollinator protection and promoting pollinator habitats in Golden Valley.
Why It's Important
More than one-third of all plant-based products consumed by humans depend on various pollinators. Insects like bees and butterflies, birds, and small mammals are critical to perpetuating and proliferating our food sources.
Pollinator gardens serve as habitats and food sources for pollinators. They also reduce chemical runoff into local waterways and produce food free of potentially harmful pesticides. Above all, they promote pollinators, whose global populations have dropped off over the last few decades.
Tips For Integrating Pollinator Habitat Into Your Own Property
Choose Diverse Plants
The US Fish and Wildlife Service recommends choosing plants that flower at different times of the year, planting in clumps, and providing a variety of flower colors and shapes to attract different pollinators. Whenever possible, choose native plants.
Reduce Or Avoid Pesticides
Refraining from pesticide use is one of the key ingredients to a pollinator garden, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which states that "some pesticide residues can kill pollinators for several days after the pesticide is applied."
Mind the Larva
The last component of a good pollinator garden is the presence of nesting plants in which pollinators can live or lay their eggs. Pollinator larva thrive on plant leaves, so allow parts of the garden to revert to wild grasses, weeds, and wildflowers. Monarch butterfly caterpillars, for example, thrive in milkweed. Leave ornamental plants and grasses uncut in the fall to provide overwinter pollinator habitat.
For more information about how to better your yard and garden for pollinators, visit the MN Department of Agriculture website. Also, the Golden Valley Garden Club is a dynamic network of gardeners at all levels of experience. The club is always looking for new members and volunteers.