Pollinator Conservation

Goal:

Protection of pollinators by modeling pollinator friendly practices and by educating residents about pollinators, including disseminating information about the ways residents can help.

Summary:

Middletown will educate the public about the importance of pollinators and will educate homeowners about reducing lawn and adding pollinator friendly plantings by providing accurate information through newsletters and community events.

The Town of Middletown was designated as a Bee City USA municipality in September 2020. As an affiliate, the Town is expected to maintain the certification by reporting on its achievements and celebrate being a Bee City USA affiliate every year. Bee City USA is part of nonprofit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. The program’s mission is to galvanize communities to sustain native pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants, and free to nearly free of pesticides.

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Monarch caterpillars on Milkweed

Photo by Erin Carney

Pollinators support Middletown’s ecosystems and to some extent its economy. They pollinate one out of every three bites of our food. Pollinators also provide food and habitat for wildlife, sustain a variety of plants that themselves improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, store carbon, and color our landscape. Pollinators face a series of challenges including habitat loss and fragmentation, pesticides, climate change, pathogens, and parasites can all impact pollinator populations.

The Town intends to protect natural areas and encourage active management of existing natural areas, including removal of invasive species. Wherever possible, Middletown will restore and enhance pollinator habitat by designating areas to preserve as green space; by planting local, native wildflowers, shrubs and trees and connecting these areas through green corridors. Unused turf grass areas will be considered for pollinator habitat.

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Swallowtail caterpillars on Parsley

Photo by Marleen Fleeman

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Photo by Erin Carney

Problem areas will be addressed through IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and Integrated Vegetation Management, and will combine monitoring of unwanted insects or weeds with diverse control methods, such as manual removal or biological control. The Town will delay using pesticides until other strategies have proven to be insufficient.

 

Middletown will educate the public about the importance of pollinators and will educate homeowners about reducing lawn and adding pollinator friendly plantings by providing accurate information through newsletters and community events. The Town will look to connect natural areas, and plan for and create “green infrastructure” that connects pollinator habitats. These corridors help pollinators to disperse and find resources such as pollen, nectar, and nesting habitat.

Flowers provide the nectar and pollen resources that pollinators feed on. Growing the right flowers, shrubs, and trees with overlapping bloom times will support pollinators, spring through fall.

It is important to support all pollinator life stages, including eggs and larvae! For bees, you can leave patches of bare ground and brush piles or install nesting blocks, and for butterflies and moths, plant caterpillar host plants.

Flowers provide the nectar and pollen resources that pollinators feed on. Growing the right flowers, shrubs, and trees with overlapping bloom times will support pollinators, spring through fall.

Make your commitment both official and visible by signing the Pollinator Protection Pledge! You can also share information about pollinators on social media, or spread the word with a pollinator habitat sign.

 

Resources