Mill River Wetland Committee joins with the Fairfield Pollinator Pathway
The Pollinator Pathway project is creating a pesticide-free corridor of public and private properties that provide native plant habitat and nutrition for pollinators, for the benefit of our ecosystem and all of its intricate food webs. The perspective that MRWC brings to this project is that ecosystem health is inextricably tied to watershed health - we have a 50 year history of education and advocacy for Fairfield’s watersheds!
Anyone can do this - from starting with small steps to taking a big leap!
Rethink your Lawn
- Mow your grass less often (3” or taller) to reduce runoff.
- Consider leaving some bare ground for nesting native bees.
- Reduce the size of your lawn by turning some of it into a pollinator-friendly garden.
- Go easy on the fall cleanup: leave some autumn leaves as insulation for over-wintering plants and habitat for overwintering eggs and pupae of pollinating insects, particularly around landscaping/garden beds.
- Delay your spring cleanup until those overwintering eggs and pupae have hatched.
- Go with a native grass lawn.
- Ditch your grass entirely! Consider a sedum or mini-clover “lawn.”
- A native plant is one that occurs naturally in a particular region without human introduction. They are adapted to the local environmental conditions so they can thrive without need for pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or supplemental watering.
- Add some native plants to your landscaping. Visit your local nursery and ask about native plants.
- Rid your property of invasive plants (without herbicides, of course!) such as Mile-a-minute vine, porcelain berry as they compete with our beneficial native species.
- Join a local garden club or attend one of their native-plant focused events!
- Visit a local seed library to check out some native seeds.
- Install a native grass lawn, which requires less maintenance and water.
- Volunteer to plant pollinator gardens at your local school, park, church, etc!
Skip the Pesticides
Pesticides kill beneficial insects like pollinators, contaminate the soil, and end up in our water systems. Herbicides are included in the category of pesticides and are often toxic to pollinators, birds, fish, and humans. Residential use of these products exceeds use in agriculture and has a direct impact on human health and wildlife. In fact, the CT DEEP says humans add so much nitrogen to Long Island Sound that every summer dead zones are created (areas of water unable to sustain life due to low levels of dissolved oxygen).
- Hand-pull problematic invasive plants.
- Plant native grasses and plants.
- Install tick bait boxes.
- Eliminate standing/stagnant water on your property- they are hotspots for mosquito larvae. Have a water feature? Use mosquito dunks!
- Hire an organic landscaping company that is Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) OLC certified, which means they are trained in organic and sustainable landscape practices.