Minnesota program will pay homeowners to transform lawns into bee gardens as species inches closer to extinction

Minnesota program will pay homeowners to transform lawns into bee gardens as species inches closer to extinction
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Minnesota lawmakers have greenlighted a new program to pay homeowners in the state to transform their lawns into bee gardens in efforts to counter the declining bee population. 

According the Star Tribune, the program was included in part of a spending plan that was recently passed by the state Legislature and now heads to Gov. Tim WalzTimothy (Tim) James WalzThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Syria fallout Minnesota Democrat sets up rematch in competitive House race Overnight Health Care: CDC warns against using e-cigs after vaping-related deaths | Minnesota reports fourth nationwide death tied to vaping | Top Dem demands FDA chief take action | Marianne Williamson under fire over controversial health remarks MORE (D) for his signature. 

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Under the proposed plan, the state would reportedly allocate $900,000 annually to support homeowners interested in making their lawns more attractive to bees, specifically the rusty patched bumble bee, which is indigenous to North America and is labeled an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. 

As part of the effort, homeowners who wish to participate in the program would have bee-friendly plants like wildflowers, clover grasses and other plants native to their local regions planted in their yards.

The program would cover up to 75 percent of expenses for homeowners to transform their lawns. According to the newspaper, those who live in the areas that have been identified as “high potential” for the rusty patched bumble bee could see up to 90 percent of their costs covered.

State Rep. Kelly Morrison (D), who introduced the measure, told the paper that she has “gotten a ton of e-mails and so much feedback from people who are interested” in the program.

“People are really thinking about how they can help,” she added.