Native meadows, filled with perennial wildflower mosaics and waving grasses, are growing in popularity with property owners and designers because they provide benefits to people, pollinators, and wildlife while demonstrating sustainability values. These meadowscapes offer economic and ecological advantages over intensively managed horticultural landscapes. Seeded meadows are low-input alternatives to containerized plantings or certain turf spaces, and so they have a role to play in institutional, commercial, and multifamily residential projects.
Opportunities abound in cities, towns, and campuses to support bees, butterflies, and other wildlife. Many outdoor spaces—from parks and school grounds to roadsides and business campuses—can provide valuable pollinator habitat. Along with new habitat, pollinators need protection from pesticides. Thoughtful pest management efforts work to reduce pesticide use and mitigate risks when pesticides are used. Such efforts can enhance the value of pollinator habitat and serve communities, offering a variety of benefits such as keeping children safe and protecting water quality.
Artificial light at night, or ALAN for short, may be one of the main drivers of firefly declines. At least 80% of the firefly species found in the United States and Canada communicate with each other using bioluminescent light signals in the form of flashes, flickers, or glows. These species are active at dusk or after dark, and artificial lights that are on at this time can make it harder for them to see each other. It may also make fireflies more vulnerable to predators that would otherwise be repelled by their light.
Imagine that the city of Los Angeles had shrunk to the size of the town of Monterey. You’d be shocked. Basically, that is what has happened to the monarch butterflies that overwinter in California. In 2018, the population of western monarchs hit a record low of less than 29,000 butterflies. In 2019, the number of butterflies was 29,418—better, but still a decline of over 99% since the 1980s, when the number of monarchs flying to California for the winter is estimated to have been 4.5 million. For every 160 monarchs there were 30 years ago, there is only one left flying today.