Help save bees. See a vernal pool. What does Neonicotinoids mean? Debunk native plant myths...
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Native Bee on Coneflower
Bees are in peril, and you can Help Save Bees in Your Yard. Native bees, like the one above from my yard, are efficient pollinators as shown in this article. EPA studies identify pesticides and poor nutrition from loss of native plants as key factors causing the decline. Bees are killed by products containing Neonicotinoids, where the poison becomes a permanent part of the plant. Here are some products containing this chemical.

Avoid using pesticides on your lawn and garden. Plant bee-friendly plants listed at Pollinator Partnership (click on Planting Guides at the top, enter your zip code, press Search and click on the link). There's also an app for that called BEE Smart Pollinator Gardener. Avoid purchasing plants that have been treated with pesticides.

Find out if your city sprays for mosquitoes, and if so, opt out to save all your beneficial insects. Contact your Public Health Dept for information. Columbus usually collects addresses beginning in April and sprays around mid-June to early September.

What is a vernal pool? The shallow water that is temporarily present in spring is as a breeding system for our ecosystem. Get a sneak peak under the water in this video of Sawmill Wetlands. See how life has grown there in the 5/2 event below.

Extend your Earth Day enthusiasm by talking with your community about creating certified habitats (homes, schools, churches, etc). This well-written article tells you how to debunk eight bad reputations native plants have in Redefining Curb Appeal.

Crop seeds are treated with Neonicotinoids so that the chemical becomes part of the plant (GMO). Slugs feed on the plants and become poisonous to beneficial native bugs that eat them, like the ground beetle that rids us of the pest slugs. Research at Penn State University showed less beneficial bug predators, more slugs and lower yields in treated field plots than in field plots without the treated seed.

Good news: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will phase out GMO crops and using Neonicotinoids spray in all wildlife refuges by 2016.

- Toni, Habitat Ambassador Volunteer, Please explore my website

Tips for Your Yard

-  Organic Lawn Care:Mow grass high (3-4 inches) so lawn shades out weeds
-  5 weeks after using Corn Gluten (if we've had enough rain), over-seed with a non-toxic grass seed, like TLC by Titan available at most home and garden centers
-  Call 811 before you dig to plant a large tree or anything that requires a deep hole so you don't hit a wire or drain line
Some places to buy native plants
-  Keep pets indoors or on a leash when walking them outside; baby birds and their parents are vulnerable to well-fed cats
-  Help migratory birds by turning your outdoor lights off or down 11:30pm-5am from mid-March to mid-June, learn more at FLAP

Nature News

-  See how to ID a Rough-Legged Hawk in this video
-  See the live Columbus Falcon Cams (nest video is below the ledge video)
-  Free .pdf download: Protecting Bees from Pesticides
Bird Spring Migration from eNature

Nature Events with Backyard Habitat Information

Please send your backyard conservation educational event with a link the month prior to the registration deadline (e.g. May 1 for June issue)
-  5/2, Reconnect with Nature at Sawmill Wetlands This Spring, Sawmill Wetlands, 2638-2674 Sawmill Place Blvd, Columbus
-  5/9, Green on the Green Festival, Big Green Head, Worthington
-  5/23, Milkweeds & More - Native Plant Sale, Wild Ones Columbus, Columbus
-  5/30-5/31, Annual Pollinator Festival, 10-5, contact Gorman Nature Center at 419-884-3764, Richland Co Park District, Mansfield
-  6/1, Why Plant Native?, 7pm, Barbara Velez Barbosa presenter, St. John's Lutheran Church, 133 W South St, Lithopolis
-  Reg now for 6/12-6/14, Mothapalooza, Doug Tallamy keynote, 12 seats left, Shawnee State Park, West Portsmouth

Other Nature Events

Please send your backyard conservation educational event with a link the month prior to the registration deadline (e.g. May 1 for June issue)
-  5/2-5/4, The Plant Sale, Necessary Natives & Wild Ones Booths at Civic Garden Center, Fee, Cincinnati
-  Reg now for 5/9, Our Wild Neighbors: Living with Wildlife, Family Workshop all ages, Fee, Ohio Wildlife Center, Powell
-  Reg now for 5/9, Project Learning Tree Education Workshop, fee incl activity guide, scroll down at Civic Garden Center Classes, Cincinnati
-  5/12, Blue Week: All About Bats, Wild Ones Oak Openings Region, Berkey
-  RSVP now for 5/12, Scout Workshop (all ages), Contact Linda at, Fee, Ohio Wildlife Center, Powell
-  5/16, Lifecycle of our Native Oak Openings Butterflies, live Monarchs from Monarch Watch, 12-3pm (NOTE time change), Swanton
-  Reg now for 5/16, Picture Perfect: Wildlife Photography, Family Workshop age 12+, Fee, Ohio Wildlife Center, Powell
-  5/17, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden EcOhio Farm & Wetland Tour, scroll down at Cincinnati Wild Ones, Mason
-  Reg now for 8/27-8/29, Flora-Quest, limit 100 people, Fee, Mohican Forest & Malabar Farms, SE of Mansfield

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