perennial garden photo
Rainfall from the roof on this house is routed to a perennial garden containing, among other plants, goldenrod, milkweed, and purple coneflower.

An increasing focus on Green Infrastructure has brought an awareness that stormwater management can provide numerous benefits beyond improving water quality and urban hydrology. Trees, for example, provide a multitude of benefits beyond stormwater management, as discussed in this article. In particular, vegetated stormwater best management practices (BMPs), including tree-based systems and other bioretention systems, offer opportunities to achieve multiple benefits, ranging from aesthetics (see, for example, this presentation by Dr. Steven Rodie from the University of Nebraska - Omaha) to ecosystem friendly designs.

Vegetated stormwater BMPs can be designed to be pollinator-friendly. It is clear that pollinators, both vertebrates and invertebrates, are in decline (see [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]). This page provides numerous links to information that can be used in designing and implementing pollinator-friendly stormwater BMPs.

Caution: Although the following links provide information on pollinator friendly practices, it is important to remember the primary function of a stormwater BMP is to manage stormwater. In particular, it is important to ensure that plants selected as being pollinator friendly must also function well within the stormwater practice. See Design criteria for bioretention and Minnesota plant lists for more information.

Pollinator friendly plants

Pollinator friendly practices

Although much of the information on these pages is general, many of the practices can be incorporated into vegetated stormwater BMPs.

Case studies

Other links

  • The Board of Water and Soil Resources has a Pollinator Plan that includes why pollinator populations and habitat restoration matter, current protection and restoration efforts, native seed mixes, a fact sheet and a solar site pollinator habitat assessment form.
  • The Xerces Society: Targeted for gardeners, this site contains much useful general information on pollinators and managing for pollinators
  • Pollinator Friendly Alliance