Help Your Local Pollinators
From your backyard to the larger community, there are many ways you can get involved and help our local pollinators.
Attend an Audubon Workshop
Audubon Society of Rhode Island offers a variety of Nature Programs including workshops that will teach you how you can help pollinators, nature walks where you will learn about natural pollinator habitat, and more!
Plant a Pollinator Garden
Pollinator gardens are not only beautiful but they also provide these insects with a critical food source and habitat. When creating a pollinator garden there are a few things to consider:
1) Try to plant native species. Pick a collection of plants so there are blooms throughout the growing season.
2) Know your landscape. Understanding the needs of the plant species and the characteristics of the landscape is crucial to creating a pollinator garden that will last. Check your plant’s requirements for light availability and soil moisture and match these with what is available in your landscape.
Enhance Bee Habitat
One of the best things you can do for pollinator habitat is leave some of your yard undisturbed. Longer grass, fallen branches, and good safe soils all provide pollinators with shelter. If leaving your yard undisturbed isn’t an option for you, there are still other ways to help support pollinator habitat. You can help by creating or purchasing bee boxes.
Avoid Using Pesticides
Most insecticides (and a handful of fungicides and herbicides) kill bees directly. Many have sublethal effects that reduce the number of offspring a female bee can produce. And the interactions between different types of pesticides is not well understood.
When you must use pesticides, apply so that they have minimal impact on nearby plants and maintain buffer zones between sprayed areas and nearby natural habitat. Do not apply pesticides when plants are in bloom. Apply during the night or when temperatures are cool and pollinators are less active.
Become a Beekeeper
Becoming a beekeeper is an amazing way to preserve bees! Beekeepers must register with the RI Department of Environmental Management and should take classes to learn how to effectively treat bee diseases. Rhode Island Beekeeper Association has programs, mentors and many other resources for the novice and experienced beekeeper.
Sign the Pollinator Protection Pledge, learn easy tips for making your yard more pollinator friendly and more!
Choose a region and discover pollinator conservation resources including tools and fact sheets.
URI's Cooperative Extension connects researchers and educators with residents of both rural and urban areas in order to create positive changes.
A DYI guide for creating nest sites for bees in your own backyard or other green space.
A guide to using pesticides in the safest manner possible to avoid harming pollinator populations.
Do your gardening practices incorporate pesticides that use neonicotinoids? Learn about this dangerous group of pesticides here.
A directory of the Nation's many citizen science projects.
Yet another valuable director for citizen science projects. Image by Kevin Winn.
Using your Zip Code, find what ecoregion you live in and download corresponding planting guide, a comprehensive tool geared towards planting for pollinators.
This database enables you to find native plant nurseries all around the United States.
Latest Pollinator News
Get the buzz on pollinator news and upcoming events.
Some scientists estimate that the monarch butterfly has declined by 85 to 95 percent in New England since the 1990s. In this installment of the Newport This Week Nature in the Neighborhood series, Audubon Senior Director of Education Lauren Parmelee reflects on the uniqueness of this endangered species and what you can do to help them.
Neonic Pesticide Regulation Bill Signed Into Law!
Rhode Island has officially made major updates to our pesticide regulations for the first time in more than a decade! Representative Kislak's and Senator Miller's bills (passed in the House on June 7 and Senate on June 14, respectively) will take harmful neonicotinoid pesticides out of the hands of untrained users. The legislation was signed into law by Governor McKee on June 27, 2022! THANK YOU to everyone who helped us advance these bills by contacting their legislators; our partner advocates; and to the bill cosponsors.
The case against harmful neonicotinoid insecticides grows as pollinator populations decline. Environmental groups, legislators, and supporters gathered on May 11, 2022, at the Roger Williams Botanical Center in Providence for a legislative breakfast and speaking event to rally support for legislation that would restrict the use of harmful neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics) in Rhode Island.
Providence Stormwater Innovation Center
Roger Williams Park is home to the new Providence Stormwater Innovation Center (PSIC). The Innovation Center has been developed by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and its partners! Learn more about the nature-based solutions we are using to learn about and protect urban water quality.