This year, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is encouraging folks in Saskatchewan to plant local plants in gardens and flower beds.
Doing so helps to prevent the spread of invasive species, encourages pollinators like bees and hummingbirds, and can be a fun way to get to know the local flowers.
Sarah Ludlow, a conservation science coordinator for the NCC, encouraged the benefit of planting these indigenous species.
"There are often advantages to putting a native plant into your garden," begins Ludlow. "The main one is that these are the plants that have evolved with wildlife and pollinators over thousands of years. These are going to be better adapted and provide more nutrition to those pollinators and wildlife."
The radial effects of having a yard that the bees and birds are drawn to include better cross-pollination as the traffic between plants goes up. Another great side effect is the rejuvenation of local populations of bees and other pollination drivers, benefitting the ecosystem as a whole.
Ludlow says that there are some easily managed plants for people interested in participating in this initiative.
"Blanket Flowers are readily available, as with the native species as well as cultivated varieties," shared Ludlow. "There's also Bee Balm, which again is widely available as the native species, as well as some cultivated varieties or the whole host of other different wildflowers and grasses."
If anyone would like to look up different varieties and species native to the prairies, you can visit npss.sk.ca.
"Gardening in general, and particularly adding native plants into your garden, is a really great thing to do for nature and wildlife and pollinators," praised Ludlow. "It seems like such a small act, but it has a really large effect on creating habitat and providing resources for wildlife and pollinators. We keep hearing about how these species numbers are declining, so this is one way to help."