- Canada wild rye, which is one of the early blooming prairie grasses;
- bird-foot coreopsis;
- thimbleweed; and
- northern bedstraw.
Grab a wildflower book and visit the park to identify and enjoy these beauties!
Energy Bill Savings are coming to your doorstep! The Neighborhood Energy Connection, a local nonprofit group, will be door-knocking in Hamline-Midway during the weeks of June 28 and July 5 to sign up residents for their Home Energy Squad program. A visit from the Home Energy Squad is the easiest, fastest, and most effective way to start saving on utility bills. The Squads will install key energy-saving products in your home, such as exterior door weather stripping, a programmable thermostat, a great new showerhead, and bathroom and kitchen faucet aerators. Residents who schedule a Home Energy Squad appointment will receive a discounted Home Energy Squad visit as well as a gift certificate to a great neighborhood business. It’s a win-win: save money on your bills and save energy resources for the planet! For more information on the Home Energy Squads and the Neighborhood Energy Connection, or to sign up to join the door-to-door campaign as a Street Team volunteer, visit http://thenec.org/home_energy/ or call (651) 221-4462 ext. 111. Watch the campaign roll out on the Neighborhood Energy Connection’s Facebook page!
Eighty-seven of the world’s 124 most commonly cultivated crops are insect/animal pollinated. Between 60 to 80% of the world’s 250,000 flowering plants depend on animals for pollination.
In the United States, the National Research Council (2007) reported noteworthy losses of both managed and wild pollinators. Habitat loss, pesticide use, diseases, parasites, and the spread of invasive species are the major causes of pollinator decline. Threats to pollinator communities affect not only pollinators themselves but also natural ecosystems and agricultural productivity.
Key design factors & practices to enhance flower diversity for bee habitat around farms, gardens or roadsides include:
1) Use native wildflowers and grasses, with high densities of flowers.
2) Plant a minimum of 3 blooming plant species during each season.
3) Aim for season-long blooming plants, early and late season blooming plants are especially important.
4) Plant a range of wildflowers of varying colors and shapes. Bees mainly visit blue, white, yellow, and purple flowers.
5) Plant flowers in single species clumps for best results.
Providing Nest Sites
6) Warm season, clump-forming grasses provide bumble bee nest sites.
7) Have a mix of forbs and shrubs.
8) Don’t mow or hay entire grassy meadows or roadsides, leave some for pollinators.
9) Conserve habitat for rabbit burrows and groundhog burrows for bee nesting sites.
10) Reduce tillage and avoid plastic sheeting for ground nesting bees.
Reducing the Impact of Mowing and Spraying
11) Intensive mowing or grazing impacts abundance of bees.
12) Avoid or minimize the use of insecticides.
The decision to apply chemical treatments to ash trees is a personal choice that is largely influenced by economic considerations and concern for the health of the surrounding environment, as well as by our emotional attachment to certain trees. Even then, it is a decision that should be made thoughtfully and with the benefit of having read what is known about the different treatment options
However, many have taken the position that it is best not to further expose communities to the risks associated with pesticides - that we should focus our efforts on planting diverse trees in available spaces and plan for the future of a healthy urban forest. Will the City of Minneapolis have any influence on the approach we take in Saint Paul to address the loss of our ash trees?
The Minneapolis City Council recently passed Resolution 2010R-268:
“Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by The City Council of the City of Minneapolis:
That the City of Minneapolis urges residents to protect the city's soil, water, flora, fauna and human health during the emerald ash borer infestation by refraining from applying insecticides to trees on private property.
Be It Further Resolved that the City of Minneapolis encourages residents to join the City in focusing our efforts and resources on growing the next generation of the City's urban forest, filling open spaces on private and public property with diverse trees, bush and native grass species, replacing both infested and non-infested ash trees with other tree species, and caring for our entire urban forest with careful monitoring and watering of all yard and boulevard trees.
Be It Further Resolved that the City strongly cautions Minneapolis residents not to use pesticides that are applied directly to the soil or sprayed on the tree bark or canopy, due to the high likelihood that the chemicals will drain into surface or groundwater and the increased risk that these applications pose to children, pets, beneficial pollinating insects, and nearby plants. Adopted 5/28/2010”
Here are just a few sources for more information on Emerald ash borer-related topics:
University of Minnesota Extension
• Do not bring household plastic or clay pots.
• Dump all soil and remove metal hangers.
• Your garden center will only take plastic for a limited time. Ask a staff person for more details.
Projects have included rain barrel workshops, a holiday light recycling, community gardening, community tree distribution, transportation improvements, waste reduction, movie nights, rain gardens, and more.
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