Do you want to protect pollinators in your yard? Lawns to Legumes offers free resources for DIYers to learn how to plant pollinator-friendly gardens, meadows, lawns, trees, and shrubs. It also provides cost-share grants to help cover the costs of doing a project. The goal is to help people create habitats for at-risk species like the rusty patched bumble bee and the monarch butterfly.
Historically, the rusty patched bumble bee (Minnesota’s state bee), was common in eastern US and the Midwest. Due to factors such as habitat loss, pesticide use, pathogens, and climate, among others, the rusty patched is an endangered species. The monarch (Minnesota’s state butterfly), famous for its seasonal migration from Canada and the northern US to Mexico, has experienced similar precipitous drops in its population. These are just two of many pollinator species declining in population in recent years.
Lawns to Legumes started in 2019. In the first two years of the program alone, individual grant participants spent many thousands of hours on at-home planting projects to protect pollinators. They also created more than 1.2 million sq. ft. of pollinator habitat and planted more than 1000 pollinator-friendly trees and shrubs.
Lawns to Legumes is taking applications for cost-share grants of up to $350 to create pollinator habitat for the 2023 fall cohort.
This program comes through the state Board of Water and Soil Resources and is funded by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. The Monarch Joint Venture and the US Fish and Wildlife Service also support Lawns to Legumes. Blue Thumb manages the individual cost-share program.