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More than 3 million Americans have lost employer-based health insurance over the past two weeks; and policy analysts look to keep us healthy and financially stable.

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Wisconsin is planning to go ahead with primaries as usual, despite requests for a delay from the Governor, and lawsuits from voting rights advocates. There's also a judicial election, where a liberal judge is challenging the conservative incumbent.

Pollinator Pit Stop "Hero Habitat" Garden Launches in Cheyenne

Many pollinator species have migration routes that cover hundreds and even thousands of miles. (Publicdomainpictures)
Many pollinator species have migration routes that cover hundreds and even thousands of miles. (Publicdomainpictures)
May 23, 2019

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming's first public Habitat Hero Demonstration Garden, a converted stretch of lawn in front of the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities building, officially launched this week.

Organizers hope the blossoming flowers, strawberries and drought-resistant plants and grasses will spark a movement to conserve water and turn more lawns into rest stops for birds, bees and butterflies. Dena Egenhoff, water conservation and public relations specialist with BOPU, explains the garden's "heroes" are the people who did the digging and planting – as well as the pollinators.

"One out of every three bites of food that we eat exists because of pollinators,” says Egenhoff. “We're giving back both to the community, but we also are creating a nice habitat for people and birds and bees and butterflies to live together."

Egenhoff says the new landscape gives these critical species a place to rest, and refuel. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, declines in pollinator populations in North America are primarily due to loss of habitat through the use of toxic pesticides, monocrop production, suburban sprawl, industrial development and off-road-vehicle use.

Egenhoff says when the garden first bloomed, birds were quick to take notice, along with various critters drawn to the strawberry patch.

"We had actually Monarch butterflies come through and they stopped and feasted on our garden and on our flowers for days,” says Egenhoff. “So that was quite a sight to see."

Like people, pollinators need water, food and shelter. Egenhoff says keeping a standard Kentucky Bluegrass lawn green in Wyoming requires a lot of water, but offers no rest for pollinators whose migration routes span hundreds and even thousands of miles.

"And lawns that we have out there provide almost zero habitat, and they use a huge amount of water resources,” says Egenhoff. “So converting your landscapes can help transform your traditional lawn to a sanctuary."

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY