Monarch & Pollinator Awareness

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Thank you for taking part in programs connected to Minnetonka's Monarch and Pollinator Awareness month.  Watch for future events hosted by our Natural Resources division.

You might have noticed a lot of buzz lately about pollinators. What’s the story?

Pollinators are animals that visit flowers to feed on nectar, pollen or both. They’re just looking for a nutritious meal and a quick source of energy. But along the way, pollinators provide an essential service – they transport pollen from one flower to another, helping plants to reproduce. Thanks to these plant-pollinator relationships, our planet has a tremendous variety of resources that can support humans and other living things.

Native plants and pollinators have evolved together, and they thrive best in partnership. Certain native plants are superfoods, providing especially high-nutrition pollen and/or nectar that appeals to monarch butterflies, rusty-patched bumblebees and diverse other pollinators. Others are host plants, providing food for caterpillars and other pollinating insects during their early life stages.

But pollinators and native plants are in trouble due to habitat loss, pesticide use, climate change, invasive species and other pressures from human activity. We’ll have to work together to protect and restore these species.

Check out these resources and activities:

  • Participate in the city's online native plant sale, open through Sept. 10, 2021.
  • Watch our five-part video series (archived in the Videos tab on this page).
  • Use interactive story maps to learn about pollinators and explore their habitat in Minnetonka parks:
  • Scroll down to the Stories section for information about the essential role pollinators play in providing our food.
  • Visit the Important Links section of this page for:
    • lists of animal-pollinated foods
    • updates on Minnetonka's work as a Monarch Champion city for the Mayors' Monarch Pledge
    • information about Lawns to Legumes, Minnesota's state program that provides cost-share funding and resources for residents to create pollinator habitat on private property
    • more links and resources to help you appreciate pollinators and create or protect habitat.

You might have noticed a lot of buzz lately about pollinators. What’s the story?

Pollinators are animals that visit flowers to feed on nectar, pollen or both. They’re just looking for a nutritious meal and a quick source of energy. But along the way, pollinators provide an essential service – they transport pollen from one flower to another, helping plants to reproduce. Thanks to these plant-pollinator relationships, our planet has a tremendous variety of resources that can support humans and other living things.

Native plants and pollinators have evolved together, and they thrive best in partnership. Certain native plants are superfoods, providing especially high-nutrition pollen and/or nectar that appeals to monarch butterflies, rusty-patched bumblebees and diverse other pollinators. Others are host plants, providing food for caterpillars and other pollinating insects during their early life stages.

But pollinators and native plants are in trouble due to habitat loss, pesticide use, climate change, invasive species and other pressures from human activity. We’ll have to work together to protect and restore these species.

Check out these resources and activities:

  • Participate in the city's online native plant sale, open through Sept. 10, 2021.
  • Watch our five-part video series (archived in the Videos tab on this page).
  • Use interactive story maps to learn about pollinators and explore their habitat in Minnetonka parks:
  • Scroll down to the Stories section for information about the essential role pollinators play in providing our food.
  • Visit the Important Links section of this page for:
    • lists of animal-pollinated foods
    • updates on Minnetonka's work as a Monarch Champion city for the Mayors' Monarch Pledge
    • information about Lawns to Legumes, Minnesota's state program that provides cost-share funding and resources for residents to create pollinator habitat on private property
    • more links and resources to help you appreciate pollinators and create or protect habitat.

Pollinators and your food

Edible plants contain nutrients that keep us healthy and energetic, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, fiber and more! But food is more than a way to fill our bellies and please our tastebuds. For many people, food also provides a meaningful connection to family, culture and tradition.

During World Wars I and II, people converted open spaces in cities and towns to "victory gardens," with edible plantings that eased food shortages and inspired a sense of community. The coronavirus pandemic has brought a similar surge of interest in gardening - and that can be a real victory for pollinators, which have been severely impacted by habitat loss, pesticide overuse, and other threats.

Check out what these Minnetonkans have to say about their experience growing food and flowers at the city’s community garden in Kelly Park.


Not a gardener? No problem! Look for animal-pollinated foods at your local co-op, grocery store or the Minnetonka Farmers Market (open Tuesdays from 3-7 p.m., through Sept. 28).

Here's your challenge! Prepare a snack, side dish, entrée, dessert or non-alcoholic beverage using ingredients with animal-pollinated ingredients. If you're feeling really inspired, create a whole pollinator-themed menu!

Let us know what you come up with! Register to post recipes or photos of your culinary creations in the STORIES section of this site, or reply to the city's social media posts using #MinnetonkaForPollinators.

Here's a sample meal from Christine Petersen in the city's Natural Resources division.


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