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Native pollinators play a key role in supporting the health and

sustainability of native ecosystems as well as providing valuable

crop fertilization services. Insects, such as bees, moths, and

butterflies, make up the majority of pollinator species in the

US. There is evidence of a decline in pollinator populations due

to a number of factors, including loss of habitat. We offer a

native pollinator seed mix


plant species

that support the

conservation and restoration of native habitat.



The importance of native plant communities

Many native plant species, including trees and shrubs, have been negatively impacted

by development, herbicide and pesticide use, invasive species, and non-native

landscaping practices. Planting or retaining native species for pollinator habitat and

food sources helps preserve and restore the ecosystem benefits for more than just the

pollinator species. Many birds and mammals require a diet of berries, fruits, and seeds

from insect-pollinated plants, and the adult and larvae of insect pollinators are fed

upon by many birds, bats, other insects, and mammals. The native plants also rely on

insects for their pollination to continue to support the health of the ecosystem.

Habitat needs of insect pollinators

The large number and diversity of pollinator species have a range of needs, so

plant variety is important. Pollinators need a diversity of flowering species with a

succession of bloom times, to provide a source of nectar throughout the year. They

also need a variety of native plants to provide shelter and nesting sites. Species

may select single plant species as host plants for their larvae to feed upon. For

example, the Monarch butterfly only lay their eggs on milkweed species,



. Loss of milkweed in the environment due to increased herbicide use and land

The Chicago Park District (CPD) is the largest

municipal park manager in the United States

and owner of more than 8,100 acres of green

space. Cardno is providing management of

natural areas for the CPD as part of a 5-year

contract. Cardno’s services include vegetation

management; hardscape elements and repair;

and landscape waste disposal. Nature garden

services include ongoing maintenance; spring

clean-up activities; planting beds, trees,

shrubs; and winterization services. Additional

maintenance services include prescribed

burn management; ecological restoration

and consulting; and community outreach and

volunteer stewardship coordination. Cardno

is also working closely with CPD on the

maintenance, restoration, and incorporation of

over 300 acres of new natural areas within the

greater natural areas program. In 2017, Cardno’s

Native Plant Nursery provided over 6,400

pounds of native seed and 160,000 plants to be

installed on the various park lands.

Chicago Park District Natural Area

Restoration and Stewardship Services