Allow native plants and pollinator habitats in our Ypsilanti yards

Allow native plants and pollinator habitats in our Ypsilanti yards

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Kate Levin started this petition to Mayor Richardson and Ypsilanti City Council Members

To Mayor Richardson and Ypsilanti City Council members,

As residents of the city of Ypsilanti, we urge you to change Article IV Weed Control of the Ypsilanti Code of Ordinances to allow residents to cultivate pollinator friendly habitats in their yards. 

Our planet, our country, our state, and our city are experiencing an “extinction emergency”. The pollinators upon which our food crops depend are under threat of extinction, along with many, many other species that contribute to the environmental safety net that makes the land we live on habitable for humans.

Habitat loss is one of the main causes of the decrease in pollinator populations. This is a direct result of land use - both development and conventional agricultural practices destroy the plants and habitats which provide food and shelter to pollinators, and many other threatened species.

Ypsilanti can directly support the pollinators, so vital to our existence, by permitting the establishment of pollinator friendly habitats in our yards. This change in land use would also benefit the watershed by decreasing run-off and erosion, and reducing pollution from lawn chemicals, and the fossil fuels used in mowing. Ypsilanti's continued role as a leader in modern sustainable communities would be enhanced by this change in ordinance and it would support the city's current status as a Bee City USA.

This would put us in the company of cities that have successful pollinator counts by fostering pollinator gardens - New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, and even Ann Arbor.

Finally, we ask that the City’s conventional standards regarding the way lawns and gardens “should” look expand to include an understanding of sustainability and environmental health. Pollinator friendly habitats should not be required to look like “managed” gardens to satisfy an arbitrary aesthetic. Residents of the city of Ypsilanti ought to have the right to support the pollinators that support our foodshed and our ecosystem by creating habitats for them in our own front and back yards.

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