The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is now accepting applications for the Lawns to Legumes program, which aims to increase residential habitat for at-risk pollinators across the state. Lawns to Legumes offers a combination of workshops, coaching, planting guides and cost-share funding for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns.

Minnesota residents can now apply to be reimbursed for up to $350 in costs associated with establishing pollinator habitats in their yards. Applications will be accepted through February 28. Applicants who qualify for reimbursement are expected to attend a workshop or webinar to better ensure project success. Funding decisions and all notifications will be emailed in March for Spring 2020 installations. For further program details, see BWSR's website.

How to apply: Apply online at Blue Thumb’s website

Am I eligible?

Anyone is welcome to use the planting guide or attend a workshop developed for this program to help plan a pollinator habitat project.

Minnesota residents anywhere in the state who have an area at their home that can be used for outdoor planting can apply for a combination of technical assistance (workshops, coaching) and cost-share funding. Proximity to areas where the Rusty patched bumblebee is likely to be present will be one factor considered when awarding reimbursement grants.

What does this program do?

Lawns to Legumes offers workshops, coaching, planting guides and cost-share funding for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns. The program also includes a public education campaign to raise awareness for pollinator habitat projects and will establish demonstration neighborhoods that showcase best practices.

Why does this matter?

Minnesota is home to more than 450 native bee species. Pollinators also include butterflies, moths, beetles and native flies. All play a key role in pollinating many food crops and native plants, but populations have significantly declined worldwide in recent years. Population decline can be attributed to habitat loss and lack of related nutrition for pollinators, as well as pesticide use and pathogens.

The program aims to protect the federally endangered state bee, the Rusty patched bumblebee, and other at-risk pollinators. Even relatively small plantings of native flowers can help create conditions that are valuable to pollinators and can help build important habitat corridors.

Getting started now

You don't have to wait to start planning a pollinator-friendly yard! Here are some helpful guides for creating habitat:

We are a small community proud of our heritage and committed to the preservation of our pristine, rural character. We cherish our privacy, yet know we are part of a thriving Dakota County and the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area. With these partnerships in mind, we strive to preserve that unique spirit which is Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.