Three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants and about 35 percent of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce. Some scientists estimate that one out of every three bites of food we eat exists because of animal pollinators like bees and butterflies. The problem for them is that they receive very little benefit from doing all of that work for us as their diet is primarily nectar from native wildflowers. This critical pollinator habitat is declining in the Southeast. Two of the main reasons include widespread and non-selective use of herbicide in timber operations as well as replacing our natives by landscaping with non-native plants. Southern Habitats offers dozens of perennial native wildflowers that are essential to pollinators.
- Golf Courses are ideal locations for creating pollinator-friendly habitat by transforming out-of-play areas into native grass and wildflower meadows. These systems thrive under a regular spring burning regime. Burning on or near a golf course is an idea that may seem foreign to many golf course managers. In order for this to become an accepted practice it is imperative to increase awareness and education regarding safe burning techniques and the substantial reduction of chemical usage and other management expenses.
- City and State Parks are also excellent locations to showcase the native groundcover of the area as it probably looked 500 years ago. Areas as small as ¼ acre can be used to replicate a native wildflower meadow. The demonstration of the value of prescribed fire and the study of native plants are useful tools for public awareness and pollinators are immediate beneficiaries of these plantings.
- Farmers who create or enhance pollinator habitat as part of the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) receive special consideration for financial incentives. For more information on this program, click here