Does municipal investment in urban greening support healthy bee communities?

Many city residents are interested in managing their residential landscapes to provide wildlife habitat and support other ecosystem services such as stormwater management. Given this interest, numerous municipalities have created sustainable landscaping programs to promote at-home conservation. These programs recommend a set of landscaping and management practices to meet specific conservation goals. Some examples include planting native species, reducing pesticide use, and reducing turfgrass cover. It is unclear whether these programs and their recommendations benefit urban wildlife. Hence, I am collaborating with a local conservation program to understand whether their investment in native plant rebates supports healthy bee communities. I aim to understand whether these native plantings in residential backyards improve measures of bee health.

Quote from lead investigator, Michelle Pham on the importance of her research: “Urban ecology is a field of research that almost anyone can relate to. Whether it is a love of scenic city landscapes, meaningful connections to urban green spaces, or an interest in local wildlife, we can all find a piece of urban ecology we can appreciate. Urban ecology is familiar to many and provides many avenues for scientists to share their work with a broader audience.”