Small city in Iowa devotes 1,000 acres of land to pollinators

Cedar Rapids decided to act on the pollinator crisis by creating a bee paradise filled with pollinator-friendly plants.

© Dave Merrill at Flickr

Cedar Rapids, a small city in Iowa, has decided to help the town’s bees by seeding 188 acres with native prairie grasses and wildflowers this spring.

Bees have been disappearing for decades in the US and the crash in their populations could threaten the global food supply.

“With the agricultural boom around 100 years ago, about 99.9 percent of all the native habitat of Iowa has been lost,” says Cedar Rapids Park Superintendent Daniel Gibbins.

According to Popular Science, the city’s goal is to create a 1,000 acres of bee paradise filled with pollinator-friendly plants over five years.

The 1,000 Acre Pollinator Initiative developed through a partnership with the Monarch Research Project (MRP), which aims to restore monarch butterfly populations.

The idea to turn 1,000 acres into pollinator habitat came from Daniel Gibbins and the project so far secured $180,000 in funding from the state and the MRP.

“When you convert it back to what was originally native Iowa, you’re going to help a lot more than just native pollinators,” explains Gibbins. “You’re helping birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals—everything that’s native here relies on native vegetation.”

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