Land Use Revolution

Make no mistake; the Pollinator Corridor is promoting revolution.

Humans are a part of nature. We are subject to its rules and we enjoy access to its bounty. Since the agrarian revolution, we have viewed land as something to control. We have seen creatures as our dominion. And we have dominated. Our land use decisions have been detrimental to some creatures, beneficial to others, and wholly unsustainable for ourselves. It’s time to embrace a new land-use revolution.

The Pollinator Corridor project asks us to identify land around us- land we may have ignored in the past- and ask questions about it:

How is this land being used? What native plant communities existed here in the past? Could this land be used to benefit humans? Could it be used to benefit other species? Specifically, could we turn this land into something good for people and pollinators? Could we improve the land in a way that improves the soil and the soul? Could we clean our ground and surface waters by converting the land? Could we breathe fresher air if we do something different with this space? Could we do all these things in a beautiful way?

In unused lawn space, weedy highway strips, buckthorn-ridden trails, phragmites-filled wetlands, and degraded, abandoned agricultural fields, we easily locate places to convert from practices that are harmful to practices that are healthy.

The philosophy is weighty: We are all about saving the world (and, more specifically, the pollinators who in turn help feed us) one plot of land at a time. But, the process is fun. We get to play in the dirt with friends new and old. We get to teach children about real-life biology and ecology. We get to learn from elders who have decades of experience with the land. For us data nerds, we get to map our progress and locate spots where we need to put in our next gardens. And we get to see the results of our work every time a flower blooms or a monarch butterfly drinks nectar from one of our plants.

Aldo Leopold and the permaculturists can both be credited for starting this land-use revolution. We hope to carry their respective legacies forward. The Pollinator Corridor project isn’t just about planting butterfly gardens. It is also about connections. Connecting major habitat areas with small “island” habitats. Connecting people to their natural and cultural histories. Connecting communities across the Midwest, the USA, and the world via a mission to enhance our shared flora, fauna, soil, and water.

Pick up a shovel and join the revolution!