Pollinators play an essential role in the life cycle of almost 90% of our earth’s plant species. Whether it is a hovering hummingbird, lumbering beetle, or one of over 400 Minnesota bee species visiting a flower in our own backyard, these animals and many others contribute to a process called pollination.
Pollination occurs when the pollen from one plant reaches the stigma of another, usually when carried there by a pollinator. This initiates the formation of seeds, fruits, and nuts that will later be disbursed.
Bees have proven to be some of the most effective pollinators, and as a result are the focus of many pollination efforts.
Recent years have seen a dramatic decline in pollinator species.
Many foods consumed by humans and wildlife rely on pollinators. Without pollinators there is no seed formation, which means future generations of plants and the creatures that rely on them are at risk of decline.
Pesticides, pests and pathogens, loss of habitat, and lack of available nutrition are part of an unfortunately long list of factors which have led to depressed immune systems, a decrease in genetic diversity, and ultimately the decline of pollinator populations.
Maplewood's Pollinator Resolution
The City of Maplewood has adopted practices to make our city a place where pollinators can thrive. In January 2016, City Council passed a pollinator resolution. This commits the City to developing even stronger policies and practices to help protect pollinators.
Maplewood provides habitat for pollinators through preservation of acres of natural vegetation and through enhancement of natural habitats. City staff rarely uses insecticides in maintaining parks and natural areas.
Educational programming is helping to create a community which understands and appreciates the importance of pollinators. Programs promoting the use of native plants, establishing bee lawns and rain garden rescue all benefit pollinators. Helpful information on how to establish a Bee Lawn can be found at: University of Minnesota Extension; Planting and Maintaining a Bee Lawn
Maplewood Pollinator Habitat Restoration Grants
- We encourage residents to plant flowering plants for pollinators to diversify their lawns. More information is available on bee lawns at University of Extension Planting and Maintaining a Bee Lawn.
- Maplewood is partnering with non-profit Great River Greening to restore the Maplwood City Hall Campus, reduce lawn areas to provide habitat for the Monarch Butterfly and other native pollinators. This project will start in May of 2022. Funding for this project is provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.
- The city is also partnering with non-profit Friends of the Mississippi River to remove invasive species and restore pollinator habitat at Applewood and Carver Neighborhood Preserves. This project began in April of 2022. Funding for this project is provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.
- Maplewood partnered with Great River Greening and the Xerces Society to restore Fish Creek Natural Area to pollinator habitat, train pollinator monitors, conduct pollinator surveys and educate children and the public. Funding for this project is provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.
What You Can Do
- Eliminate or Minimize Pesticide Use: Research suggests a strong link between pollinator population declines and a group of insecticides known as neonicotinoids.
- Get Friends and Family Involved: Planting a garden, participating in monitoring projects, or simply visiting a natural area are great ways to spend time with loved ones while making a difference for the future generations of all living things.
- Participate in Community Science: Submit sightings of bumble bees to bumblebeewatch.org and participate in other projects.
- Plant a Variety of Native Flowering Plants: A variety of plant heights, bloom time, flower color & shape will support more pollinator species through the growing season. For one-stop native plant shopping, attend the St. Paul Audubon's Landscape Revival Native Plant Sale and Expo. Several native plant nurseries gather to offer a large selection of perennials, trees and shrubs. This event is held the first two Saturdays in June at Oakdale and Shoreview locations.
- Provide Native Habitat: Native plants not only give the best possible nutrition to pollinators, but also help preserve a part of Minnesota's natural history, hold soil in place and help water infiltrate into the soil. Leave some natural areas of bare soil, standing dead stems and leaves for over wintering and nesting areas.
- Adopt a Rain or Pollinator Garden: Have a green thumb? Help maintain a pollinator-supporting garden near you! For more information, contact the Parks and Natural resources Department at (651) 249-2111.
- City of Maplewood's Pollinator Resolution (PDF)
- Department of Natural Resources
- University of Minnesota Bee Lab
- The Xerces Society
Get Involved Community Science
- Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources- pollinator pages
- Save Stems for Nesting
- Leave the Leaves
- Native Plant Nurseries (PDF)