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
Programs intended to reduce the chances that someone will end up back behind bars are working, according to a new analysis of California state data…
Arizona is gearing up for its presidential preference election that takes place in less than a month, and registered Democrats and Republicans were …
You might say "every day is 'bring your child to college day'" at New Hampshire's Manchester Community College. On-campus childcare programs are …
By Elizabeth Ouzts for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Shanteya Hudson for North Carolina News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism…
The number of Black mothers in Ohio who die during or following pregnancy continues to climb and health advocates said they hope to shine a light on t…
It's been an uphill battle for childhood nutrition advocates to advance meal access policies in the South Dakota Legislature. However, organizers say …
A cooperative effort has seeded more than 26,000 acres in eastern Nevada. It's all in an effort to increase desirable grasses, forbs and shrubs while …
Texas postal customers, especially in rural areas, are experiencing delays in mail delivery, and some letter carriers feel it could get worse…