Skip to main content

What You Can Do Fact Sheet

What You Can Do to Protect Pollination Services


Pollination occurs in habitats that support and provide for both the pollinator and the plants that they pollinate. Any piece of land from a small urban backyard to extensive wild areas can contribute to the mosaic of habitats. Key strategies to maintain pollination services include restoring degraded habitat, protecting existing habitat from sprawl and other development pressures, and using pollinator-friendly practices in gardens, in parks, and on farms. Identification and preservation of habitats that connect to form corridors are important to protect migratory pollinators.


Whatever the area of land under your care, there are several easy things you can do to help protect pollinators and sustain pollination services.


  • Create your own pollinator-friendly garden.


One of the easiest (and most rewarding) ways to provide suitable habitat for pollinators is to plant a wide variety of locally native flowering plants in your garden. If you don’t have a garden, pollinator-friendly plants can be planted in window boxes or other containers. To learn more about the native flowering plants in your community, contact:

  • A local garden shop or nursery
  • Your local chapter of the Native Plant Society for your state
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

(512) 292-4100, (Accessed 5 May 2008)


For useful information on how to improve pollinator and other wildlife habitats in your yard, contact:

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Backyard Conservation Program

(888) LANDCARE, (Accessed 5 May 2008)



  • Encourage the planting of native flowers in parks and greenspaces.


Beyond your own backyard, you’ll find many other places where pollinator habitats can be restored or protected. Through community or school gardening programs, you can encourage the planting of native flowers in local spaces such as parks, playgrounds, roadways, golf courses, and around public buildings.


For more information, contact:

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service: Backyard Conservation Program (see above)
  • National Wildlife Federation; Backyard Habitat Program (see above)
  • The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (see above)


  • Build artificial shelters and provide egg-laying sites for pollinator 


A key to developing a successful pollinator habitat is to provide food, water, and shelter, and most importantly a place for pollinators to lay their eggs. Whether in your garden or a local greenspace, you can complement your pollinator-friendly garden with caterpillar host plants for butterflies, nesting blocks for solitary bees, or bird and bat houses. For more information about how to build shelters, contact:

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Bird Pamphlets, (Accessed 5 May 2008)

  • Operation Ruby Throat, (Accessed 5 May 2008)

  • Bat Conservation International,

(512) 327-9721, (Accessed 5 May 2008)

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service: Backyard Conservation Program (see above)
  • National Wildlife Federation; Backyard Habitat Program (see above)
  • The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (see above)


  • Reduce the level of pesticides in and around your home.


Pesticides for use on lawns, flowers, or indoors are found in most homes. Yet there are many ways to ward off unwanted insects without endangering pollinators. To learn more, contact:

  • Pesticide Action Network; Pesticide Advisor

(415) 981-1771, (Accessed 5 May 2008)

  • S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Division of Environmental Quality

(800) 344-WILD, (Accessed 5 May 2008)

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program

(703) 305-6231, (Accessed 5 May 2008)


  • Support agricultural enterprises with pollinator-friendly practices.


Reward sound environmental efforts by supporting local, national, and international farms that use less-damaging agricultural methods. Shop at your local farmers market, join a Community Supported Agriculture program, or buy organic products. For more information and to locate environmentally sound producers and products, link to:

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture; Agriculture Marketing Service, Farmers Markets, (Accessed 5 May 2008)

  • Alternative Farming Systems Information Center; Community Supported Agriculture Farms Database, (Accessed 5 May 2008)
  • Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs; “GreenPeople” Database, (Accessed 5 May 2008)



Revised May 4, 2008.


Reference as: Ecological Society of America. Communicating Ecosystem Services Pollination Toolkit What You Can Do to Protect Pollination Services. Updated May 4, 2008. Online at