Albany Now a Pollinator-Friendly County

by Grace Nichols

ALBANY, NY: On May 13, 2019, Save the Pine Bush, Environmental Advocates of New York, Radix, beekeepers, farmers, the League of Women Voters, the Working Family Party, the Upper Hudson Greens, and many other activists, joined Grace Nichols and six county legislators who sponsored the bill, to speak out for a policy to address insect declines. County Executive Dan McCoy signed in it law the following week.

As we know, butterflies, bees, wasps, moths, dragonflies, damselflies, dung beetles, and flying insects collectively are experiencing massive declines across biological taxa, resulting in a 45 percent decline in total flying insects in North America. Insectivorous birds numbers have dropped 33 percent. This is a threat to agriculture. More broadly, it threatens the food chain, as insects are an important food source for many species.

Our Resolution requires the county to plant native host and nectar plants along the side of county roads, in county parks and along the rail trail. It encourages conservation easements and requires a review of any pesticide use, to phase out the worst ones; it requires the county to inform citizens as to where to buy plants and seeds uncontaminated with neonicotinoid pesticides — which wipe out insects, and how to get organic produce. It also requires the county to publish lists of appropriate plants to host butterfly and moth eggs, and plants to feed nectar and pollen-eating organisms.

A special thank you to County Legislator Doug Bullock who introduced and carried this Resolution through the process, and Lynne Lekakis, Rick Touchette, Bill Reinhardt, Chris Higgins and Joanne Cunningham who co-sponsored.

We are now undisputed leaders in invertebrate conservation in the state of New York. But we want other counties to compete, and pass even stronger biodiversity protections in this mass extinction crisis.

Albany County passed this Resolution. Your County can propose a similar Resolution.

We need your strong citizen voice in support of Biodiversity and the Survival of the Food Chain.

Link to Resolution:

Radio Show on Pollinators:

Published in June/July 2019
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