Grassroots Program Puts Hands-in-Ground for Colorado Pollinators
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Some 18 recent graduates of an urban pollinator habitat-restoration program in Boulder got grants from the Endangered Species Coalition to put more native flowering plants in the ground.
Colorado's native pollinators can only travel a few hundred feet before they need to find a place to land and refuel - with water, nectar and pollen.
City of Boulder urban biodiversity program founder and Cool Boulder lead Andrea Montoya said graduates also are trained to convince their friends and neighbors to join a growing national movement to create more pollinator pathways.
"But when you multiply that - by having yard after yard connected to community spaces, connected to another yard," said Montoya, "and you've built this chain of places that pollinators can visit. That is the key to their survival."
Bees and other pollinators are considered keystone species for entire ecosystems, and contribute to the direct production of up to $577 billion worth of food every year. Pollinator populations are in decline, largely due to loss of habitat to humans, the use of insecticides, and climate change.
Montoya said she sees Colorado's urban lawns, which add zero nutrient value to pollinators, as prime targets for habitat restoration.
Dillon Hanson-Ahumada is the Southern Rockies field representative for the Endangered Species Coalition. He said anyone can get involved in restoring pollinator habitat, and points to resources available at 'endangered.org/pollinator-protectors.'
"Every pollinator plant counts," said Hanson-Ahumada. "Every small habitat area counts. You don't have to have acres and acres. If anything it can be a couple of plants that you plant on the side of your house."
Montoya developed the program curriculum for the climate initiative Cool Boulder. She said after she retired her lawnmower, and replaced grass with native plants, her water bill dropped by 75%.
She said native plants, pollinators, insects and microorganisms underground help maintain soil health - and can play a role in mitigating climate change.
"Native plants form a relationship below ground with native microorganisms that support these plants," said Montoya. "These plants are then able to sequester 150% more carbon than a non-native plant."
get more stories like this via email
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a plan extending a natural-gas pipeline in Virginia. The Virginia Reliability Plan and Transcot's …
Today is Giving Tuesday, a day when millions of Americans are expected to make charitable donations. But it can also be a field day for scammers…
Health and Wellness
Starting Friday, North Carolinians will have greater access to health care as the long-awaited Medicaid expansion is launched. Medicaid will …
A new project in Southern Arizona aims to support local reporting and enable greater access to local news and information. Earlier this month…
As the weather turns colder, two groups of people in one North Dakota city that are generations apart appear to be in good shape to navigate housing …
Researchers are out with new findings they say show that death rates linked to air pollution from coal plants are underestimated. A Wisconsin …
Illinois high school seniors have new hurdles to overcome to get to college. High school students are waiting several extra weeks to get their hands …
Clean-energy companies and supporters are calling on federal officials to prioritize the development of charging infrastructure for EV powered medium …