Environmental Forum August Celebration
In reality, lush green lawns are nutritional deserts for pollinators, birds, and other wildlife. Dandelions are an important nectar source, yet we’ve been conditioned to view those yellow flowers as pesky. Early in the spring, when the world becomes alive again, the bees and other pollinators emerge when very few other flowers have bloomed. Dandelions are valuable for vital for their nutrition.
By necessity, pollinator gardens must change as the season does. It is a privilege to be able to be in tune with the subtleties of different blooming times and their connection with migrating birds and insects. As the saying goes, “When the goldenrod blooms, it is time for monarchs to start their long migration south.”
Take Action Steps:
- Don’t mow early in the spring. The bees need your dandelions. Leave a patch of clover and dandelions after each mowing.
- Plant native pollinators - avoid plants treated with pesticides and those genetically modified with neonicotinoids. Most big-box stores do not know the sources of their plants. Shop at local nurseries that know their suppliers.
- Plant flowers that bloom at different times during the growing season.
- Get inspired by visiting a prairie! Here are some local suggestions: Wapsi Education Center, Illiniwek Forest Preserve, Jo Daviess County.
- Do NOT use any herbicides or pesticides. Even the smallest exposure will kill bees and butterflies.
- Create pollinator-friendly areas in your yard. There is a lot of information online. Here’s an example: Unleash the Wild on Your Back Yard.
- Plant milkweed. Plant milkweed. Plant milkweed. Learn more at MonarchWatch.com.
- Attend the Wapsi Monarch Fest, Saturday, September 11th.
- Watch Flight of the Butterflies.
- Join a group on Facebook: The Beautiful Monarch; Monarchs of Eastern Iowa; Pollinator Gardening; Muscatine Pollinator Project; Illinois Monarch Waystation Capital.
- Come to PACG’s Annual Picnic on Sunday, September 12th. We will have milkweed seed bombs for you to distribute and monarch butterflies to release.