Leave some leaves for pollinators, please!

One of the most important things you can do for pollinators is to provide them with the cover they need to survive the winter. Some species of butterflies, wild bees and other pollinators overwinter in or under fallen leaves. Instead of blowing leaves to the curb, please consider leaving some leaves around the base of trees or add them to foundation beds or around native perennials. These "soft landings" are critical for many pollinators to complete their lifecycle. Plus, leaves provide valuable organic matter and help to build healthy soil. Leaves have the same weed suppression and moisture retention properties of shredded wood mulch + they’re free! 

Protect pollinators through the winter:
leave the leaves!  

Managing fallen leaves can often seem like an endless task during autumn. While we can’t allow them to clog storm sewers or leave a slippery layer on sidewalks, we CAN concentrate them into garden beds and under the "drip line" of trees and around tree trunks.  Read more: 

Pocket Prairies

Biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Licking Park District hosted a Pocket Prairies event at Infirmary Mound Park which compared different strategies for establishing and maintaining prairie plots of all sizes. 

Resources shared at the Pocket Prairie event included:

Seed mix providers and prairie installation guides:

Ohio Prairie Nursery: How To Plant Native Grass and Wildflower Seed - A Comprehensive Guide for Site Prep, Installation and Management

Prairie Moon Nursery: How to prep your site & grow a prairie & other FAQ 

Shooting Star Native Seeds: Prairie restoration guidelines

Getting Started with Wildflower Patches, Flower Strips & Meadows

Shana Byrd from Dawes Arboretum shares practical tips for creating your own native plant patch. Produced as part of the Pollinator Habitat 101 webinar series sponsored by The Ohio State University Bee Lab. Watch Shana's video & see complete list of Pollinator Habitat 101 presentations

Find Native Plants & Seeds

Use this printable guide to help find potentially rare native bees in Ohio. Organized by native plant bloom time, the guide includes beautiful photos of the plants & bees to look for. View & download.

The Ohio State University Bee Lab offers a six-session Bumble Bee Short Course for Community Scientists. Learn about all things bumble bee in this series of scientist-led webinars, readings, resources and more.  Go to course.

Compared to birds and butterflies, relatively little is known about Ohio's bees. Details of their distribution, life history and habitat is not well documented. Get started observing native bees with this great printable guide

photo by Ian Meske

Learn more about what Pollinator Pathway communities are doing to create and protect native plants for wild bees and butterflies in "The Buzz" --the quarterly e-newsletter from the Pollinator Pathway network.  

Spring 2023
Summer 2023 

Articles include: 

This 5-part virtual symposium hosted by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy focuses on creating vibrant greenspaces that benefit pollinators and wildlife. Learn more

Get great lists of native plants for sunny spots & shady gardens, top 10 lists of trees & shrubs for native bees & other helpful resources. View Pollinator Pathway plant lists. 

This website archive contains tips for creating a backyard habitat that is inviting to butterflies, hummingbirds & songbirds in Central Ohio.  Learn more.

Soft landings refer to leaf litter and plantings under native trees that provide critical shelter and habitat for one or more life cycles of butterflies, moths, bees & other beneficial insects. Learn more. 

All native species are important, but some natives—called keystone plants—support more wildlife than others. See the list for our region & learn more about these "power plants." 

Bee on spiderwort

Up to 37% of native bee species are considered pollen specialists. This means they rely on very specific native plants to feed their young.  Learn more using this beautiful native bee story map.  

Plant a native tree in honor or memory of a loved one

1500 Trees aims to plant 1500 native trees in public spaces across Licking County. Honor a graduate, celebrate an anniversary or memorialize a family member with a special tree. Learn more

NEW resources: 2023