Fulton committee chair, city encourage pollinator protection

The chair of the Fulton Environment Committee is urging residents to take note of the City Council’s 2015 resolution declaring Minneapolis a pollinator friendly community.

The resolution urges Minneapolis residents, business owners and institutions to become more pollinator friendly by adopting practices including: committing to not use pesticides; avoiding planting flowering plants treated with systemic insecticides; discontinuing the sale of pesticides and plants treated with systemic insecticides; and planting more pollinator forage on their properties and utilize organic or chemical-free lawn and landscaping practices.

“Pollinator populations are in sharp decline because of an ongoing loss of plants that feed and shelter them combined with a large-scale expansion of pesticide use by homeowners, landscapers, property managers and farmers,” the city wrote in an April 25 press release. “Neonicotinoids and other systemic pesticides have been shown to kill and weaken bees and other pollinators.”

Growing vegetables, herbs and fruits requires bees, butterflies and other pollinators, the news release notes. It notes that alternatives to pesticides can cost less and dramatically boost habitat for pollinators.

The city is also asking residents to survey the pollinator habitat in their own yards. People who answer 10 questions in a survey, which will be open from May 14–18, can win free plants and seeds. The first 190 people will get vouchers in the mail to pick up five native, pesticide-free perennial plants at no cost June 22–24. Others can claim wildflower seed bundles and pollinator push gardens, containers that hold wildflower seeds and nutrient-rich growing material.

Learn more about the survey and how to protect pollinators at minneapolismn.gov/environment/bees.

In Fulton, environmental committee chairman John Dillery says it would be appreciated if people volunteer at or stop by the environmental committee’s booth at the Fulton Farmers Market. The market runs from 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m. every Saturday starting May 19 at 4901 Chowen Ave. S.

Dillery is also encouraging people to be informed about the positions of gubernatorial candidates, adding that not all DFL candidates hold the same positions on environmental issues.