If you’re looking for a way to add some beauty and meaning to your landscape — and help animals — planting a pollinator garden might just be the solution!
Cities and other urban areas are often considered deprived of nature. However, the growing movement to increase wildlife habitat in cities is seeking to bring back green spaces — and wonder — to these communities.
Here are three ways you can help animals in your city this Earth Day and every day!
1. Start an Urban Farm
One way to bring back insects, birds, and other animals is by starting an urban farm. Restoring polluted soils in the middle of the city encourages animals to return to the area. When we plant native plants, we soon encounter butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other curious animals. Urban farms also increase access to organic and nutritious food for the community. In low-income areas where healthy food is scarce, a nearby farm can be the difference between a vibrant life or one with chronic illness.
Sarvodaya Institute is an example of a community-led urban farm in an underserved community near Los Angeles, California. As farmers feed neighbors delicious fruits and vegetables, bees and beetles visit the abundant flowers lining the property. These pollinators are essential for many of our crops, and we must thank them for their hard work by planting more of their favorite foods.
Plus, who doesn’t enjoy spending time outside?
2. Get Rid of Your Lawn, Gain a Garden
Lawns do not provide the nutrients and shelter many animals in urban areas need. They can even poison animals if there are pesticides in use. By opting out of the typical suburban lawn and reintroducing plant variety in your front or backyard, you are helping animals in your area.
Homegrown National Park encourages anyone with some land to plant native plants. Whether you have a vast meadow or a small backyard, you can help tired pollinators who fly miles searching for food by creating a mini park. If you want to really go for it, you can also learn more about making your space into a Certified Wildlife Habitat here!
3. Support Farmer’s Markets
Insect populations are declining due to harmful agricultural practices that use pesticides. When you purchase from farms that use toxic chemicals, you increase their demand. However, when you become a loyal consumer of local, organic farms, you support farmers who take care of the land pollinators need.
Animals looking for a safe place in a busy city face numerous obstacles. You can change the fate of pollinators — including insects, birds, and bats — by making space for them. When we protect pollinators, we celebrate Earth Day every day.