Minnesota Lawns to Legumes


Want to help Minnesota’s pollinators? Lawns to Legumes has grants and coaches to guide you.

Nora G. Hertel

St. Cloud Times

Sue Gray is trying to attract an endangered species into her Becker township yard — a rusty patched bumblebee.

She hasn’t had much luck yet.

After all, the rusty patched bumblebee has declined by 87% in the last 20 years, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

But they are not without their champions.

Gray is among a throng of Minnesotans changing their landscapes to better support that endangered bee and all pollinators.

A growing state program called Lawns to Legumes promises residents their yards “can BEE the change.” It offers coaching, technical assistance and grant funds to individuals and groups to plant native flowers and grasses that will support honey bees, bees, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds.

This summer lawmakers put roughly $2 million toward Phase 2 of the Lawns to Legumes program which was first funded in 2019.

“This program has gotten interest around the nation,” said Dan Shaw, senior ecologist with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. He helped develop the Lawns to Legumes program.

Minnesota program garners national attention for helping bees (sctimes.com)