Ecological Land Stewardship
Bridging nature and urbanization
When looking at land stewardship, private and public land must be distinguished in how we define sustainability.
For public land (public domain and government owned), environmental consciousness is nothing new in Bloomington. Early efforts preserved one-third of the community as parks and open space. In so doing, important, often fragile, rivers, bluffs, lakes, ponds and wetlands were protected from development.
However, because of today’s urbanization, the natural resource integrity of the River Valley has been on the decline. Bloomington is moving forward with its Natural and Cultural Resources Management Plan in effort to preserve its natural resources by increasing the biodiversity of species and managing tree thinning projects.
In addition, Bloomington recently approved changes to the City code mowing requirements to allow licensed goats for prescribed grazing. Later this year, the City plans to be using goats as an alternative to herbicides or burning.
If you want to support public land stewardship, consider this simple act:
Take advantage of your local open spaces (unregulated natural and cultural resources) and regional parks (preserved land owned by local government)! Both have been historically preserved for the public to enjoy and serve as aesthetic relief from urban society. For more information on places near you, visit the Parks and Recreation page!
The City's history of good stewardship for public lands has provided a foundation of leadership in sustainability. However, in order for everyone to see a greener tomorrow, maintaining private land (non-governmental land for one's exclusive use) must be a public endeavor. Here are two things you can do to help:
When it comes to their diet, pollinators like variety just as we do. However, due to intensive monoculture-based suburban lawns, local wildlife don’t always have much to choose from. Help attract nearby pollinators by planting a variety of native plant species in your garden, only using pesticides when necessary, and eliminating common invasive species like the noxious buckthorn weed when possible.
There are many environmental benefits to having a healthy lawn, and while Kentucky bluegrass is the predominant grass type in Minnesota, consider planting fine fescue instead. Fine fescues not only have good drought tolerance, but some species have lower mowing needs, are resilient to shadier areas, and overall have less maintenance requirements.