City of Toronto program helps homeowners create pollinator gardens

Image of man in pollinator garden.

(Times Colonist) While most homeowners are raking autumn leaves, neighbors in downtown Toronto are ripping up grass and filling their lawns with native plants meant to encourage bees and other pollinators to take up residence next year. They are tapping into a municipal grant program that gives participants $5,000 to make their homes a haven for pollinators.

Toronto now has an official bee. Here’s why that matters

Image of metallic green sweat bee on purple flower.

(The Star) The metallic green sweat bee — Agapostemon virescens is the species name — was chosen for three reasons. One, it’s abundant: of the more than 360 wild bee species that inhabit Toronto, this one is fairly common. Two, it’s hard to miss: it looks like it’s all zhuzhed up to hit the bee version of Studio 54, or maybe the Brunswick House before it became a Rexall. And three, it lives in a condo.

Big buzz about program to turn lawns into pollinator habitat

Image of bee on flowers.

(Minnesota Public Radio) The Lawns to Legumes program received $900,000 in funding this year from the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The initiative aims to help homeowners lawns into pollinator habitat. Over the winter, homeowners will be able to apply for roughly $700,000 in cost share funds for pollinator habitat projects. A priority area for the funding will be where endangered rusty patched bumble bees live.

Planting trees is important for urban pollinator conservation

Image of big tree with roots spreading out.

(Xerces Society) Planting trees is an important action many of us can take to help fight the climate crisis. It’s also an action that will have a significant impact on pollinator conservation. The urban heat island effect, which is caused by large amounts of impervious surfaces, poses serious problems not only for the humans living in urban areas, but for the bee populations living there too. However, trees can provide a signifiant cooling effect in these urban areas that benefit both people and pollinators.