A wide variety of citizen science efforts and opportunities may be taken advantage by establishing native plantings. These include monarch butterfly tagging and tracking efforts led by the University of Kansas (KU), observing and reporting on seasonal changes to larger scientific communities, monarch caterpillar monitoring through the University of Minnesota, and tracking rare and endangered pollinator species in collaboration with the Xerces Society.
Native gardens may qualify to be listed within national programs such as a Certified Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Foundation, or a registered Monarch Waystation through the KU Monarch Watch program.
Native plants are proven to support and increase populations of pollinators that are vital for fruit and vegetable production. Local pollinators supported by native plants are particularly good at pollinating some of our favorite crops like tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, squash, and pumpkins.
A number of resources are available with more information on native plants and their benefits:
Bee Lab – University of Minnesota
Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
Monarch Watch and Waystation Programs
National Wildlife Foundation – Certified Wildlife Habitat
Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Pollinator Toolkit
Additional Journal Articles (.pdf)- coming soon!
"We may think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it's our garden that is really nurturing us." Jenny Uglow