Protecting Pollinators! Not only do native plants provide a great way to reduce runoff and improve water quality, they also provide the necessary habitat for many pollinators. Learn more about pollinators from some great information provided by the Blank Park Zoo and their effort to save pollinators called Plant.Grow.Fly.

They’re important. Pollinators are crucial to healthy ecosystems; a majority of our biodiversity, including plants, mammals, and birds, depend on the services provide. For example, 75% of flowering plants require insect pollination. Humans are especially dependent on pollinators as they help produce many of the fruits and vegetables that make up our diet.

Insect pollinators are also vital to our economy contributing $29 billion to farm income in the U.S. in 2010.

They’re disappearing. Pollinators, like butterflies and bees, are in decline due to a variety of reasons including disease, global climate change, loss of habitat and feeding resources, and some modern agricultural practices.

Butterflies, for instance, require large corridors of suitable habitat to navigate between nectar sources. Our increasing rates of development and expanding networks of roads, cities, and farm fields have presented them with formidable challenges.

You can help! Join and help out native pollinators thrive by planting a butterfly garden in your yard, at your school, or place of work! Our expertly researched garden plant list will help you choose the flowers and grasses that benefit our local species of the Upper Midwest.

No effort is too small. Gardens can range from several plants in pots on your porch to an entire prairie ecosystem. After you plant your garden, register it on the Plant.Grow.Fly. website.

Experts agree that even small patches of appropriate habitat on roadsides, in schoolyards, corporate landscapes, and backyards can help support butterflies and bees. These gardens can act as bridges to other gardens; creating a corridor of resources that these tiny travelers desperately need.

For more information visit

As urban areas grow by as little as 1%, you begin to see negative biological impacts to surface waters.