Designing Biodiversity in the Anthropocene: Landscapes and Corridors to Support Wild Pollinators 

Evan Abramson

Join the local Back Yard Beekeepers Association for the first general meeting of 2022. The meeting will be held via Zoom on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. Visit the website to RSVP

The guest speaker is Evan Abramson, a results-driven designer and planner on a mission to rebuild biologically diverse ecosystems through pollinator-plant interactions. As founder and principal of Landscape Interactions, he works closely with project partners along every step of the process, from conception through design, implementation and maintenance.

Since 2019, Landscape Interactions has been responsible for nearly 200 acres of habitat installed in the Northeast, specifically targeting at-risk bee and butterfly species for each project location. Humanity’s impact on the Earth is now so profound that a new geological epoch has been declared. The Anthropocene is defined by rising carbon emissions and sea levels, the mass extinction of species and the transformation of land by development. One million species are threatened with extinction globally, including over half of the native bee species in North America.

Biodiversity should be seen as a key ally in dealing with climate change, however, not as a victim of it. Animal and plant species diversity means ecological resiliency: crucial in an era of unpredictable climate and more frequent, intense and longer weather extremes. Farms, wildlands, suburban greenways and rural communities provide immense opportunities for expanding regional biodiversity through the implementation of native pollination systems corridors.

What happens at the pollination scale has repercussions all the way through the food web to the largest predators and humans. Yet most efforts to restore pollinator habitat to date have increased the numbers of a few common species, not the range of wild pollinators needed for ecosystem resiliency. “Seeing lots of bees” does not necessarily mean that a landscape is pollinator-friendly.

Since 2019, Landscape Interactions has worked across the Northeast to design, plan and implement functionally diverse native pollinator habitat by targeting the species at risk in each project location. By publishing scalable, replicable models of habitat design and restoration online for free, the building blocks for a regional network of resilience are already being created.

The mission of BYBA, Back Yard Beekeepers Association, is to provide its membership with a forum for sharing knowledge and mutual interests in beekeeping, and to educate and promote the benefits of beekeeping to the public. With over 250 members, the association, based in Connecticut, has grown to become one of the nation’s largest regional clubs for beekeeping hobbyists. Some of the members are just getting started as beekeepers, and some have enjoyed this hobby for years. All share an interest in the wonderful and remarkable world of the honey bee. 

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