Lawns to Legumes Program in Scott County
During the summer of 2021, the Scott Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) partnered with the neighbors of Vergus Avenue around Spring Lake and created a pollinator haven through Minnesota’s Lawns to Legumes program. The program helped ten different neighbors install a total of 14 different native plant projects in the ground, adding over 7,500 square feet of habitat for local pollinators like bumblebees and butterflies.
Now in 2022, the Scott SWCD was once again awarded funds from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resource’s Lawns to Legumes program to keep the momentum going. The program’s primary goal is to restore critical habitat for the endangered Rusty Patched Bumblebee and other threatened pollinator species by providing homeowners with technical and financial assistance for pollinator plantings.
Why the Rusty Patched Bumblebee?
The Rusty Patched is Minnesota’s state bee, and the first bumblebee to be placed on the endangered species list.
Scott SWCD Natural Resource Specialist, and Lawns to Legumes coordinator, Meghan Darley elaborates, “part of the reason for the Rusty Patched being placed on the endangered species list is the loss of critical pollinator habitat.”
The Lawns to Legumes program wants to bring habitat back and educate homeowners in the process. To do this, the program will establish “pollinator corridors”, or rather, a series of pollinator plantings each close enough to each other to be within the range of the Rusty Patched Bumblebee's flying range. When these corridors are established, the plantings connect, and serve as a greater reach for pollinators, becoming greater than the sum of their parts.
“Scott County has documented evidence of Rusty Patched Bumblebees nesting and pollinating. It’s an area of Minnesota we want to establish more pollinator habitat in since the bees already want to make it their home” Darley comments.
Want to add pollinator habitat to your property?
The Scott SWCD has funds available for individual landowners within Scott County borders to install beautiful plantings of flowering trees, shrubs, and wildflowers around their yard. Plantings can range in size from a 150 sq. ft. mailbox planting to a 3 acre prairie. All plantings must be installed in the summer of 2022, and Scott SWCD technicians are available to help you plan and design your pollinator project.
Applications must be received by May 27th!
For a list of program requirements and project details, download our Lawns to Legumes fact sheet. All projects must abide by the program's terms and conditions and all awarded funds will be paid as reimbursement upon project completion.
Priority will be given to applicants within the Priority 1 area of the county, but all residents are encouraged to apply!
For more information about different types of pollinator plantings, or for more information on the Lawns to Legumes program, visit http://bwsr.state.mn.us/l2l.