Tuesday, September 18, 2018

6:45 pm-7:00 pm | Social
7:00 pm-8:45 pm | Program
Wood Lake Nature Center
6710 Lake Shore Dr S, Richfield, MN 55423
All meetings are free and open to the public.

Endangered Pollinators, 
a Southeast MN Perspective

Scott Leddy

Wild Ones Twin Cities fall programming begins with a lovingly illustrated talk about the flora and pollinators of high quality remnant prairies in Rushford, Minnesota, and the Root River Valley with notable naturalist and restoration practitioner Scott Leddy. 

A native of the area himself, Scott has been working more than three decades to restore Driftless Area sand and mesic prairies and bluffs (goat prairies), observing and photographing the native plants, pollinators and other insects that inhabit their different ecological niches.  Years of such observation reflect his deep interest in the interconnectivity between pollinators and the host plants they need to survive.

In 2014, Scott conducted the first native bee survey ever done in southeastern Minnesota, as well as prairie remnant butterfly surveys.  In the seven years working as Meadowlark Restorations, he performed fourteen native prairie restorations, on both private and public lands, along with the native bee and prairie remnant butterfly surveys.

Andrena sp. (mining bee) on Dutchman's breeches;
photo by Scott Leddy.
His passion for restoration is also a reaction to the relentless incursion of trees, invasive exotics and other means of habitat degradation. Many of the prairie species he has found in the Driftless Area are no longer found elsewhere, due to habitat degradation even in our most natural areas. Years of work removing trees, watching over burns, and painstaking seed collection show Scott’s respect and love for these prairies.

Great spangled fritillary buttlerly on butterfly milkweed;
photo by Scott Leddy.

In Scott’s words:
“Planting a small prairie or restoring a woodland and, more importantly, maintaining the natural areas that we have is critical because our native habitats have been virtually all but eliminated…Plant diversity directly impacts pollinator abundance and diversity, and that’s what has driven me to spend so much of my life restoring these beautiful places.”

See more pollinator favorites from Scott:    
Hickory hairstreak butterfly on New Jersey tea;
photo by Scott Leddy.

Scott shares a list of his favorite pollinator plants we can incorporate into a prairie planting or a garden to help support pollinator habitat. The list is presented phenologically, chosen to support pollinators with food sources and habitat throughout the seasons. According to Scott, fall is the best time to plant seed of these species if you are attempting to reconstruct a prairie habitat, and it is essential to prepare the site well. In any setting within the region—a garden, a back yard or containers—these will provide a native planting that will be of interest to native pollinators.


*Driftless Area, so called because drift is an old name for till and, where there were no glaciers, no till could be deposited. Over millions of years, erosion has sharply carved the exposed landscape of the Driftless Area into narrow valleys and thousands of bluffs. The flatter surrounding areas, covered with glacial deposits, remain geologically distinct.