Columbia has hundreds of acres of “green space” that does little to help conserve wildlife. Mowed lawns that contain non-native grasses and flowers provide few resources for our native wildlife to thrive. A healthy ecosystem requires balance, which can only be achieved when there are many different organisms (plants, animals, insects, bacteria) in an area. We may only achieve a level of high biodiversity (many different plants and animals) in Columbia if we provide the plants that our native insects co-evolved with and recognize as food. We want to attract insects because they are a main food source for many other animals. Thus, insects are a main structural component to our ecosystem and without the plants that they rely upon for survival we will lose our natural habitats and the ecosystem services (i.e. flood protection, clean water, oxygen, pollination) that they provide.
In an effort to create more productive green spaces the Columbia Public Works Department, Sustainability Office, Volunteer Services, and Stormwater have partnered to design and implement native plantings at selected medians and roundabouts across the City. The following list outlines priority areas for this project:
- Scott Blvd & Vawter School Rd
- Scott Blvd & Route KK
- Prathersville & Rangeline
- Mexico & Ballenger
- Lake of the Woods & St. Charles
- Scott Blvd. medians
Check the webpage for updates on this project or join the CoMo Conservation Facebook group.
8 May 2017
The roundabout at Scott Blvd. and Vawter School Rd. has been planted with the following native plants:
- Callirhoe involucrata, Purple Poppy Mallow
- Liatris mucronata, Bottlebrush Blazingstar
- Symphyotrichum laeve, Smooth Aster
- Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly Milkweed
- Schizachyrium scoparium, Little Blue Stem
- Quercus macrocarpa, Burr Oak
We chose these plants because they bloom at different times of the year providing a constant food source throughout the growing season for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds . Milkweed was included to provide rearing habitat for monarch butterflies whose population has declined by 90%.