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Mindful Spring Cleanup: Protecting Pollinators One Yard at a Time

Pollinators such as native bees, moths, butterflies, beetles, and wasps hibernate in our gardens and landscapes. Additionally, other critters and insects, such as fireflies and amphibians, utilize our landscape as habitat.

The loss of habitat is one of the primary reasons for declining insect and pollinator populations.

Please be mindful of SPRING CLEAN UP.

Below are recommendations that can help protect pollinators in our landscapes and gardens.

HOLD OFF a bit before cleaning yards and gardens– to help hibernating pollinators and other insects and amphibians, wait until there is a steady temperature of 50 degrees.  Many are still hibernating in your garden.

Leave the leaves !  Those leaves provide critical habitat to over wintering pollinators (bees, moths, butterflies, caterpillars) and other creatures.  They are also a natural mulch, suppling vital nutrients back to the soil.  If you feel you need to rake, be gentle and rake leaves into garden beds where they will help to hold the moisture and reduce weeds.

Don’t cut stems and stalks – Some native bees hibernate in the pithy stems and stalks. When tidying up your garden, consider leaving stems and stalks as is, OR if cutting back, leave 13 to 15 inches standing. This will allow new plant growth to grow up and over old stems.

Previous years stems serve as valuable nesting sites for native bees.

By maintaining these stems, you're providing essential habitat for these important pollinators.

Lastly, don’t burn or toss those cut stems!! While some native bees may have emerged already, other species emerge later in the spring/summer. Instead, loosely pile or gently rake material, then set aside so they can emerge at a later date. .

These practices preserve biodiversity and support the health of our local ecosystems.

“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”

E. O. Wilson - An American Biologist and Naturalist and is considered one of the greatest natural scientists of our time.


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Waupaca Chain O'Lakes Association

Stewardship and Resources Committee

Chair(s): Julie Mazzoleni, Fawn Johnson

E-mail click HERE

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