“Protecting Pollinators” Book Discussion

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Folks came out on Thursday night to discuss "Protecting Pollinators" by Jodi Helmer

The world’s pollinators are facing massive population declines due to pesticide use, habitat destruction, climate change, and non-native invasive plants. In New England, this means our bees, moths, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other insects are at risk. Pollinators are needed for the production of 90% of the world’s flowering plants, and 1/3 of all U.S. agricultural output depends on pollinators. 9% of bee and butterfly populations and 16.5% of vertebrate pollinators like hummingbirds and bats are threatened with global extinction. What can we do to help?

The East Quabbin Land Trust recently hosted a discussion of Jodi Helmer’s “Protecting Pollinators” book. We encouraged folks who hadn’t read the book to come to share their own thoughts and questions so we could all learn from each other. We discussed a number of ways we can make changes at our own homes to help all kinds of pollinators. One major discussion point was the importance of adding native plants to landscapes. Adding not only native plants, but native shrubs, to your landscapes can make a huge difference for local pollinators. Shrubs like spice bush, American pussy willow, and buttonbush are excellent to incorporate into your native pollinator-friendly gardens. Another point we discussed was the importance of changing our views about what a “perfect” lawn looks like. In many areas of the country homeowners prioritize bright green, weed-free, perfectly manicured lawns over pollinator-friendly habitats. If possible, allowing you lawn to go longer without mowing, and encouraging clover, a variety of grasses, and weeds to grow will provide both carbon sequestration and benefits to pollinators. For a handy list of native pollinator-friendly plantings that will work for your land, check out this great resource from MDAR.