The Pollinator Initiative
Pollinators play an essential role in food production as well as pollinating native plants. The decline of pollinator populations (honey bees, native bees, butterflies, etc.) and other beneficial insects from a variety of factors including habitat loss, pesticides, and parasites has led to significant concern by bee keepers, conservation professionals, legislators, and the public. These species provide a foundation for food production, food webs and native plant populations. The BWSR Pollinator Initiative provides leadership on the issue to more effectively support pollinator populations. The initiative also helps meet legislative requirements to provide pollinator habitat throughout the growing seasons for all prairie restorations on state land or funded with state dollars (Minn. Stat., Chap. 84.973).
Goals of the Initiative
- Increase awareness about declining pollinator populations.
- Support Local Government Unit partners in enhancing pollinator habitat.
- Focus outreach on how to incorporate pollinator habitat into all BWSR programs.
- Provide a ‘pollinator toolbox’ and ‘featured projects’ to guide pollinator projects.
Scope and Approach
The initiative builds on the BWSR Pollinator Plan and other resources to integrate pollinator habitat across BWSR programs. The initiative is designed to support efforts by BWSR partners, though some technical resources will also be beneficial to the general public.
A wide range of partners are involved in this effort, including: Minnesota Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts, Minnesota DNR, Minnesota DOT, NRCS, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, University of Minnesota, cities, counties, and many other conservation partners.
Pollinator Initiative Resources
- Pollinator Toolbox
- Lawns to Legumes Program
- FAQs (pdf)
- BWSR Pollinator Plan (pdf)
- Protecting Minnesota's Pollinators Brochure (pdf)
- Protecting Conservation Plantings from Pesticides (pdf)