I am pleased I was finally able to attend the Design with Nature Conference held by the Wild Ones Minnesota Chapters. A presentation by Heather Holm, author of Pollinators of Native Plants, on “natives bees and their role as pollinators of native plants and cultivated blueberries” brought me some information that I had not thought of before. The bloom of several trees and shrubs are critical for the survival of our early pollinators such as some of our native bees. Examples of trees in this area would be red maple (Acer rubrum), willow (Salix L.), poplar (Populus balsamifera) and our many oaks (Quercus L.). Shrubs, for example, would be prickly ash (Zanthoxylum L.) and American bladderwort (staphylia trifolia). Although not typically considered a landscaping woodie, tag alder (Almus rugosa or Almus incana) is also an early bloomer. [Read more…]
Just released — the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) and World Wildlife Fund Mexico just released the 2015-16 eastern monarch numbers and the overall population has increased! Monitoring indicates the monarch population is occupying 4.01 hectares. That’s more than three times the area covered for the 2014-2015 count.
Considerably more monarch habitat has to be redeveloped throughout the monarch migration route, however, if we’re going to get back to the population of mid-2000. Check out the Wild for Monarchs program developed by Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes to find out what you can do to develop more habitat for monarchs.
If you’re planning a local project related to environmental education, consider applying for funding available from the EPA. You’ve got until April 8th to apply. The projects should increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues by promoting stewardship and helping to develop informed, knowledgeable and responsible citizens in the local community.
Photo by Tom Young.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, announced on February 12th that the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) created by the 2014 Farm Bill will, with its partners across the nation, have up to $720 million to grant toward projects that will help communities with supporting wildlife habitat, among other goals. Projects are selected competitively, and must at least match the USDA commitment.
There are currently two projects being funded in Wisconsin that specifically address natural landscaping:
- Driftless Area Habitat for the Wild and Rare – NRCS and DU along with 30 other partners will restore prairie, oak woodlands and streams with native species found in the DA landscape.
- Improving Working Lands for Monarch Butterflies — NRCS will assist the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and 12 other partners in restoring, managing and conserving wildlife habitat for monarch butterflies on agricultural and tribal lands.
To see a list of projects for 2016 and to learn how to apply go to USDA Natural Resources conservation Service.