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    November 17, 2021
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Lawns to Legumes program hopes to attract pollinators Agriculture is the largest indus- try in the state of Minnesota, by far, and, as a result, it can be easy for people to take the food on their plates for granted. But the fields full of corn and soybeans don't simply grow by themselves. Their growth is as- sisted by the millions of insects that spread pollen through the fields, fertilizing the plants. However, there has been an alarming decrease in the number of pollinators in the United States in recent years, with insecticides having an adverse effect on polli- nators, especially various species of bees. The Minnesota state bee, the rusty patched bumblebee, was placed on the federal endangered species list in 2017. Around that time, people began to realize a universal truth. With- out pollinators, humans don't have food. pollinators-the rusty patched bumblebee, in particular Locally, Becky Buchholz of the Cottonwood Soil and Water Conservation District office helps coordinate the Lawns to Legumes program. "Lawns to Legumes was split into two project types," Buchholz said. "One was available starting in 2019 and 2020 for anybody in the state to apply for. The second is a demonstration neighborhood grant, which encourages develop- ing dense networks of pollinator habitat in neighborhoods. "The Cottonwood Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded one of those grants, so we have until Dec. 31, 2022, to in Jackson County Perhaps the biggest factor is that applying for the program is easy, and applicants who act quickly are almost assured of pproval. "Right now, we're on a first- come, first-serve basis and any- one who has applied has been approved so far," Buchholz said. "We have roughly $2,700 left to spend. We have a maximum cost share we go up to. There's about a two-page application people need to fill out." Buchholz said the contract die ering trees and shrubs, most of which are native to the state. There is no minimum number of trees or shrubs planted. Bee Lawn: Instead of turf spend our money from the grant." While the initial state grants were primarily for rural resi- dents, the demonstration neigh- borhood grant funds encourage people inside city limits to plant enhanced pollinator habitat on their property Buchholz said that the current demonstration neighborhood grant program is open to any property owner living within the city limits of Windom, Mt. Lake, Westbrook, Storden, Jeffers or Bingham Lake in Cottonwood County or Jackson, Lakefield. Heron Lake, Wilder or Okabena tates that the project needs to be maintained for at least five years. She added that renters also are eligible, but the property owner is required to maintain the project for the minimum five-year period. She added there are four dif- ferent pollinator project types, and applicants can do one or any combination of the four Pocket Garden: Similar to a regular garden with perennial plants native to the state. Plants typically only need to be watered the first year and will continue to come up after. It typically includes a minimum of three species of wild flowers, blooming throughout the year. Pollinator Trees and Shrubs: Includes various flow- grass, it includes species typically considered weeds, like thyme or Dutch white clover. It is mowed less frequently and left at a taller height. Pollinator Meadow: De- signed for a larger area (up to three acres) and resembles a native prairie, with plants native to the state. Buchholz said anyone pursuing a pollinator meadow may need to check city regula- tions. To apply, people need to stop by the Cottonwood SWCD office in Windom to fill out the contract, which is approved by the board. "After it is approved, we'll send out a letter, authorizing the appli- cant to purchase what they need," Buchholz said. Additionally. Buchholz said that staff at the Cottonwood SWCD of- fice can offer suggestions on what people should plant and where they should plant. -We can come out to do a site visit, which will help with the de- cision-making process," Buchholz said. "We're able to give advice on which plants will best survive in particular locations." In 2019, the Minnesota State Legislature authorized funding for local programs to encourage habitat development for pollina- tors, directing the Board of Soil and Water Resources to develop rules for the program. From that came the Lawns to Legumes program, which allows private homeowners to estab- iish habitat on the property for Your Yard can BEE the Change THE LAWNS TO LEGUMES PROGRAM OFFERS A COMBINATION OF #Lawnstolegumes COACHING, PLANTING GUIDES, AND COST-SHARE FUNDING FOR ELIGIBLE PROJECT TYPES- INSTALLING POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY NATIVE PLANTINGS IN 1. Native Pocket Planting: Small native plant garden RESIDENTIAL LAWNS. GRANT FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE TO PEOPLE 2. Pollinator IN THE CITY LIMITS OF THESE TOWNS- Trees/Shrubs: Flowering trees and shrubs Heron Lake Wilder Storden Native Pochet aing Jackson Mountain Lake Bingham Lake Windom 3. Pollinator Lawn: A fine fescue lawn with low growing flowers (clovers, self-heal, etc.) Lakefield Westbrook * Okabena * Jeffers 90 4. Pollinator Residents may be eligible to receive up to Meadow: A large expanse of native plants, like a remnant prairie or CRP COST-SIHARE For more information or to apply- cottonwoodswcd.org/lawns-to-legumes or 507-832-8287 Lawns to Legumes program hopes to attract pollinators Agriculture is the largest indus- try in the state of Minnesota, by far, and, as a result, it can be easy for people to take the food on their plates for granted. But the fields full of corn and soybeans don't simply grow by themselves. Their growth is as- sisted by the millions of insects that spread pollen through the fields, fertilizing the plants. However, there has been an alarming decrease in the number of pollinators in the United States in recent years, with insecticides having an adverse effect on polli- nators, especially various species of bees. The Minnesota state bee, the rusty patched bumblebee, was placed on the federal endangered species list in 2017. Around that time, people began to realize a universal truth. With- out pollinators, humans don't have food. pollinators-the rusty patched bumblebee, in particular Locally, Becky Buchholz of the Cottonwood Soil and Water Conservation District office helps coordinate the Lawns to Legumes program. "Lawns to Legumes was split into two project types," Buchholz said. "One was available starting in 2019 and 2020 for anybody in the state to apply for. The second is a demonstration neighborhood grant, which encourages develop- ing dense networks of pollinator habitat in neighborhoods. "The Cottonwood Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded one of those grants, so we have until Dec. 31, 2022, to in Jackson County Perhaps the biggest factor is that applying for the program is easy, and applicants who act quickly are almost assured of pproval. "Right now, we're on a first- come, first-serve basis and any- one who has applied has been approved so far," Buchholz said. "We have roughly $2,700 left to spend. We have a maximum cost share we go up to. There's about a two-page application people need to fill out." Buchholz said the contract die ering trees and shrubs, most of which are native to the state. There is no minimum number of trees or shrubs planted. Bee Lawn: Instead of turf spend our money from the grant." While the initial state grants were primarily for rural resi- dents, the demonstration neigh- borhood grant funds encourage people inside city limits to plant enhanced pollinator habitat on their property Buchholz said that the current demonstration neighborhood grant program is open to any property owner living within the city limits of Windom, Mt. Lake, Westbrook, Storden, Jeffers or Bingham Lake in Cottonwood County or Jackson, Lakefield. Heron Lake, Wilder or Okabena tates that the project needs to be maintained for at least five years. She added that renters also are eligible, but the property owner is required to maintain the project for the minimum five-year period. She added there are four dif- ferent pollinator project types, and applicants can do one or any combination of the four Pocket Garden: Similar to a regular garden with perennial plants native to the state. Plants typically only need to be watered the first year and will continue to come up after. It typically includes a minimum of three species of wild flowers, blooming throughout the year. Pollinator Trees and Shrubs: Includes various flow- grass, it includes species typically considered weeds, like thyme or Dutch white clover. It is mowed less frequently and left at a taller height. Pollinator Meadow: De- signed for a larger area (up to three acres) and resembles a native prairie, with plants native to the state. Buchholz said anyone pursuing a pollinator meadow may need to check city regula- tions. To apply, people need to stop by the Cottonwood SWCD office in Windom to fill out the contract, which is approved by the board. "After it is approved, we'll send out a letter, authorizing the appli- cant to purchase what they need," Buchholz said. Additionally. Buchholz said that staff at the Cottonwood SWCD of- fice can offer suggestions on what people should plant and where they should plant. -We can come out to do a site visit, which will help with the de- cision-making process," Buchholz said. "We're able to give advice on which plants will best survive in particular locations." In 2019, the Minnesota State Legislature authorized funding for local programs to encourage habitat development for pollina- tors, directing the Board of Soil and Water Resources to develop rules for the program. From that came the Lawns to Legumes program, which allows private homeowners to estab- iish habitat on the property for Your Yard can BEE the Change THE LAWNS TO LEGUMES PROGRAM OFFERS A COMBINATION OF #Lawnstolegumes COACHING, PLANTING GUIDES, AND COST-SHARE FUNDING FOR ELIGIBLE PROJECT TYPES- INSTALLING POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY NATIVE PLANTINGS IN 1. Native Pocket Planting: Small native plant garden RESIDENTIAL LAWNS. GRANT FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE TO PEOPLE 2. Pollinator IN THE CITY LIMITS OF THESE TOWNS- Trees/Shrubs: Flowering trees and shrubs Heron Lake Wilder Storden Native Pochet aing Jackson Mountain Lake Bingham Lake Windom 3. Pollinator Lawn: A fine fescue lawn with low growing flowers (clovers, self-heal, etc.) Lakefield Westbrook * Okabena * Jeffers 90 4. Pollinator Residents may be eligible to receive up to Meadow: A large expanse of native plants, like a remnant prairie or CRP COST-SIHARE For more information or to apply- cottonwoodswcd.org/lawns-to-legumes or 507-832-8287