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State Could See Funding for Bee-Friendly Lawns

May 30, 2019 06:54 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- A new spending plan sent to Gov. Tim Walz this week could help homeowners make their lawns more bee-friendly, but one Rochester woman has been working on her sustainable garden for decades.

"My main reason was to make it environmentally sustainable. For bees, for birds, for butterflies," said Doris Amundsen.

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Soon, the State of Minnesota will make it possible for more landowners to turn their yards into a landscape that will support bees.

According to the StarTribune, the state will set aside $900,000 over one year to help homeowners cover the cost of planting things like wildflowers and native grasses to protect the declining bee population.

"Bees are the most important pollinators of our fruits, vegetables and wildflowers,” said University of Minnesota Professor Marla Spivak.

She said “bee lots” could be a way to support the health of local bee populations.

"Bee lots are a way to help diversify our urban landscape, particularly areas where we just have turf grass growing. When we provide flowers for bees, it’s not just about what bees do for us through pollination, it's what we can do for bees to support their health,” Spivak said.

She said that seeing the state provide this type of funding is a step in the right direction.

"It's a wonderful incentive to people and it validates the cultural shift we have. In the past, there was a little bit of a stigma if your lawn was a little messy or flowers made your neighborhood look bad, for example. I think this gives permission and acknowledgment that diversity in landscape, and especially planting native plants, is a good thing,” Spivak said.

For Amundsen, it’s a sense of personal pride, too.

"Anytime you can do anything to better our ecosystem and our planet, it's a good feeling,” she said.

The State Board of Water and Soil Resources will work this summer to develop the details surrounding the program, such as how and when landowners can apply for funding.

Credits

Talia Milavetz

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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