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Pollinator Conservation in Yards and Gardens

A yard bursting with yellow-petaled black-eyed Susans nearly dwarfs the blue house behind the blooms.
(Photo: Xerces Society / Eric Lee-Mäder)

 

 

Overview

Gardeners and homeowners are uniquely positioned to make a positive impact in supporting pollinators in their landscape. Recent research has indicated pollinators may be faring better in urban and suburban environments where they are protected from monocultures and the widespread use of pesticides found in agricultural lands.  

While habitat fragmentation and pesticide use are also of concern in suburban and urban environments, gardeners and homeowners can directly make changes to their backyards, parks, and community gardens, and work with neighbors and community leaders to create habitat and adopt pollinator-friendly practices.

The Basics

While different pollinators may have specific needs to support each stage of their lifecycle, they all need high-quality habitat that provides an abundance of flowers, shelter and nesting sites, and protection from pesticides.

Food in the form of abundant flowering plants that provide access to pollen and nectar throughout the growing season

Access to shelter and nesting sites including host plants for butterflies, pithy-stems and dead wood for cavity-nesting bees, and bare earth for ground-nesting bees

Protection from pesticides which kill non-target insects and degrade habitat by removing or contaminating flowering plants 

Advocates who are willing to make changes in their own landscape, but also teach others and spread the word to encourage pollinator- friendly practices in their community.

Getting Started

Create, Restore, and Manage Habitat

From expansive meadows to backyard butterfly gardens and everywhere in between - every landscape can be optimized to support pollinators.

Provide Access to Nesting Sites

Like us, pollinators need a place to call home. Nesting resources can take many forms - from natural to man-made.

Avoid Pesticides in Your Garden

Learn more about the risks associated with commonly used pesticides and how home gardeners can avoid their use to protect pollinators

Pick the Right Plants

We’ve prepared research-based, regionally appropriate plant lists and guides to help you pick the very best plants for pollinators.

Sign the Pollinator Protection Pledge

Can you make the commitment to protect pollinators? Sign the Pollinator Protection Pledge and join thousands of others who have pledged to provide habitat and protect pollinators from pesticides. If you have a garden in the United States, it will also be automatically added to the National Pollinator Garden Network – a part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.

Get Involved and Spread the Word!

Find a training or event near you, access citizen science projects and online resources, and sign the Pollinator Pledge!