University of Maryland Extension

Pollinator and Native Landscape

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Our Mission

The Pollinator & Native Landscapes Committee programs educate and advise the public on:
  • Why native species are crucial to the health of our natural ecosystems and the future of our world; 
  • Why invasive species are harmful to the environment, the economy and human health;
  • How to identify native plants and invasive plants in Maryland;
  • How to focus primarily on native plants and control invasives in the landscape;
  • How to identify native and non-native insect species;
  • How to attract beneficial insects, other animals and microorganisms; and
  • How to include IPM (Integrated Pest Management) techniques in your garden and landscape routines.
               

 

Why Plant Natives?

ENJOY A BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE             

The many textures, colors and habits of native plants can be combined in attractive designs. Choose a natural-looking or more formal style. 

PRESERVE MARYLAND’S BIODIVERSITY

Positively impact natural areas near your home.  Locally native gardens benefit pollinators and reduce risk to wild plant populations.

SUPPORT BIRDS AND POLLINATORS

Many bees provision their nests with pollen from native plants, and butterflies and moths eat native species at the larval stage. Birds, in turn, feed an abundance of these caterpillars to their young. Going native supports this whole food web.

IMPROVE WATER QUALITY AND REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

Conventional gardens often employ fertilizers, pesticides, supplemental water, and fossil-fuel using machinery – resulting in poor soil health, more erosion, and polluted stormwater runoff. 

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How You Can Help Pollinators

PROVIDE FOOD

Plant a succession of native blooms of different shapes, sizes and colors from spring to fall

Choose a variety of plants that support caterpillars.

Plant densely, using native groundcovers as “green mulch” and leaving some bare soil for the 70 percent of native bee species that nest in the ground.

Choose native species over cultivars.

Plant in drifts of 3+ to be noticed by pollinators.

PROVIDE WATER SOURCES including mud-puddling areas for butterflies. (Refresh water oftento deter mosquitoes. )

PROVIDE SHELTER and nesting sites for bees, caterpillars and others by leaving fallen leaves where possible and incorporating dead wood (stalks, logs, stumps) into the garden.

SAFEGUARD POLLINATOR HABITAT

Action 1: Control Invasive Plants

Action 2: Avoid Pesticides

 

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Virtual Consultations and Questions

If you have a question or would like to ask for help with your garden, please contact us at:

MDPollinator@gmail.com
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Howard County’s Pollinator Habitat Objective

The Howard County Bee City Pollinator Habitat Registration is up and running!  

After installing your beautiful pollinator garden we encourage you to fill out our habitat registration form to include your own "patch" in the Howard County Pollinator Habitat total!   Learn more about our 2025 pollinator habitat goal on HoCo DASH!

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Educational Resources 

Bee City USA: https://www.beecityusa.org  Bee City USA is Howard County’s program of choice for their Pollinator Habitat activities.  [click on “About Pollinators”]. Bee City USA is an initiative under the Xerces Society - Pollinator Conservation Program https://xerces.org/pollinator-conservation  

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, by Douglas W. Tallamy, c. 2009 (updated and expanded), Timber Press, Portland OR; 360 pp., http://bringingnaturehome.net

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard by Doug Tallamy

The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife, by Nancy Lawson, c.2017,  Princeton Architectural Press, 225 pp., https://www.humanegardener.com/

Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping, Chesapeake Bay Watershed, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service: www.fws.gov/Chesapeakebay/pdf/NativePlantsforWildlifeHabitatandConservationLandscaping.pdf or www.nativeplantcenter.net.

Better Backyard–A Citizen’s Resource Guide to Beneficial Landscaping and Habitat Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, Chesapeake Bay Program: www.chesapeakebay.net/content/publications/cbp_12259.pdf 

Native Plants for Conservation, Restoration and Landscaping, VA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage: www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/nativeplants  (includes invasive species).

Conservation Landscaping Guidelines-The Eight Essential Elements, Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council: www.chesapeakelandscape.org  [click on “Resources”]

Mistaken Identity–Invasive Plants and Their Native Look-Alikes: www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_Documents/nrcs144p2_024329.pdf

Garden for Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation: www.nwf.org/backyard

Audubon Guide to a Healthy Yard and Beyond: http://web4.audubon.org/bird/pesticide.html 

Wild Ones Handbook–Green Landscaping:

https://archive.epa.gov/greenacres/web/html/index-8.html 


 

 

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