Save America’s Wildlife

New bill is a boon for bees and butterflies

Legislation would encourage use of native plants in federal projects

Save the bees

People plant native plants on a parking lot strip.

For decades in America, we’ve paved over our prairies, replaced our native wild plants for ornamentals, and sprayed pesticides over nearly every field, meadow and forest. Now, our nearly 5,000 species of bees and butterflies are paying the price for our progress. A new bill aims to change that by encouraging the federal government to use native plants in landscaping projects.

The bipartisan Building Native Habitats at Federal Facilities Act was introduced Dec. 15 by Representatives Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and David Joyce (OH-14), and Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Mike Braun (R-IN).

Restoring native plants to the landscape will not only make America more beautiful, but expand the habitat that pollinators need to thrive again.

“New Jersey may be nicknamed “The Garden State” but not enough of those gardens feature our very own native plants, like pasture rose or butterfly weed,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey.

“Some of our native plants may have even disappeared altogether, including three of our seven species of gentians. Every time a native plant goes extinct, we lose a little wonder, but our pollinators and other wildlife may lose much more: their home, their food, their environment. We can and should use more native plants in our landscaping and the federal government can lead by example if Congress passes Rep. Sherrill’s Building Native Habitats Act.”

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