Sustainable landscaping plays role in federal plan to stem pollinator decline

Bee-collecting-pollen-010In response to the dramatic global decline of honey bees and other pollinator populations, President Obama’s Pollinator Health Task Force has released a report outlining strategies to help reverse the decline. The report addresses several issues the task force believes are contributing to reductions in pollinator populations, including pests and pathogens, shrinking habitat, lack of nutritional resources and exposure to pesticides.

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has released a statement applauding the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, saying it offers meaningful guidance for reversing pollinator declines, especially through its support of sustainable landscape design.

“Sustainable landscape design practices – such as those supported by the White House strategy – contribute to the health of honey bees, monarch butterflies and other native pollinators,” said Nancy Somerville, ASLA executive vice president and CEO. “We are confident that implementation of the strategy will continue to highlight the expertise of landscape architects in contributing to pollinator health.”

According to the report, the new strategy “knits together commitments and plans from many Federal departments and agencies, bringing a variety of missions and programs to bear toward a single, unified goal – promoting the health of the nation’s pollinators.”

Those goals include the reduction of mortality among honey bees during the winter season, increasing the monarch butterfly population and restoring 7 million acres of land as habitat for pollinators over the next 5 years.

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