Managing Rural Roadsides for Pollinator Habitat
March 10, 2020
By Lanark County
Lanark County Lanark County is a rural municipality in eastern Ontario – to the west of Ottawa, Ontario – managing approximately 600 kilometres of county roads. Since 2016, Lanark County has followed an integrated vegetation management (IVM) plan to control invasive plants, especially wild parsnip, that encroach on pollinator habitat. In addition to controlling invasive plants, the goal of the IVM plan was also to re-establish desirable native vegetation along roadsides. To achieve these goals, Lanark County changed mowing practices, implemented integrated control measures to reduce impact to desirable vegetation (i.e. targeted spot spraying, hand control of invasives, reseeding disturbed sites, etc.), and improved hydroseeding practices with native seed to promote pollinators. Lanark County has been successful in reducing invasive plant infestations and improving pollinator habitat on almost 450 hectares of rural roads, and now has the opportunity to share some lessons learned with other municipalities about how they can help improve pollinator habitat along roadsides.