From Plant Press, Vol. 18, No. 1, January 2015.
In June 2014, a Presidential Memorandum entitled, “Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators,” called for a revision of the Sustainable Practices for Designed Landscapes guidance on Federal properties. The revised guidance issued in October 2014 by the White House Council on Environmental Quality helps Federal agencies incorporate pollinator-friendly practices in new construction, building renovations, landscaping improvements, and in facility leasing agreements at Federal facilities and on Federal lands. Facility managers can use the updated guidance to actively examine their current buildings, grounds, and practices for opportunities to transition to a richer diversity of pollinator-friendly plant species.
By integrating pollinator-friendly strategies into everyday design, operations, and maintenance activities, Federal agencies can have a big impact. Every day, agency managers make routine decisions that could affect pollinator populations. The easy-to-use guide will help ensure the best possible decisions are made, supporting pollinator health and habitat on millions of acres of Federal land. Additionally, the guide will serve as a valuable resource for further research on pollinators and the plant species that support them.
Plant and animal diversity is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. The Urban Bird Habitat is an oasis for many bird species; it provides for their basic needs; food, water, shelter, and a place to raise their young. (photo courtesy of Smithsonian Gardens)
An inter-agency working group prepared the revised guidance. The working group included representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture and Forest Service, the Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Botanic Garden, the General Services Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Interior's Office of Planning and Management, with assistance provided from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Representing the Smithsonian Institution was Gary Krupnick (National Museum of Natural History), and Graham Davis, William Donnelly, James Gagliardi, Jonathan Kavalier, and Jeffrey Schneider (Smithsonian Gardens). The Smithsonian Gardens NMNH Butterfly Habitat Garden and Urban Bird Habitat serve as exemplary models for pollinator-friendly habitat at Federal facilities.
The guidance is available online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/sustainability/landscaping-guidance.