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Can a Small Space Make a Difference?

By: Phyllis Griffard

A small pocket prairie installation makes a big difference.

Wondering if gardening a small space for habitat can make a difference? It does!

“The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 31 previous studies performed over the last 30 years into pollinator-friendly planting across different scales. They found an interesting trend: typically overlooked smaller plots of wildflowers, less than 500m², produced a 1.4-fold increase in pollinator abundance over control plots. Based on these findings, they designed a field study using small patches for community farms in Washington State to test this idea. Planting these 11 small patches, only 30m² big, with floral strips and nests for pollinators they saw an overall increase in the number of recorded bees—rising from 1,360 in 2014 to 3,550 in 2018.”

"This work shows that you don't need to own a huge amount of farmland to benefit bees, and although we didn't directly look at urban plots the results suggest that even people with small gardens who want to plant a wildflower strip can make a difference,"

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