Ways to Get Involved

Help the rusty patched bumble bee and other pollinators

Our imperiled and listed species need your help! As the national recovery lead for the endangered rusty patched bumble bee, our office has thought of a variety of ways that individuals can get involved with helping imperiled pollinators in their communities and backyards.

Plant a mix of flowers

Rusty patched bumble bees are typically active from April through October. Plant a mix of native flowering trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants so that something is always blooming.

Don't mow and rake

Bumble bees and many other pollinators need a safe place to build their nests and overwinter. During the spring and summer, leave some areas of your yard unmowed. In the fall, leave some areas of your yard unraked and leave plant stems standing in your flower beds.

Be pesticide free

Pesticides, especially insecticides, can harm pollinators. Herbicides reduce food sources by removing flowers from the landscape.

Help protect bats for natural pest control

Bats can use all the help they can get too. From not disturbing bats during hibernation in caves and mines, to helping create safe spaces for bats and their young to roost during the summer months, there are many ways to help. Learn more about how you can help protect bats.

Our Partners

We work with numerous partners across Minnesota and Wisconsin, including:

  • State agencies including the Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency and Department of Transportation
  • Federal agencies including the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS Wildlife Services, U.S. Park Service and U.S. Department of Defense
  • Universities and colleges
  • Local governments
  • Non-governmental organizations with conservation missions


Our office is actively involved with a variety of different citizen science projects.

We encourage people to join us for the annual National Backyard Bumble Bee Count held from late July through early August. The Backyard Bumble Bee Count is an iNatualist citizen science project that will help the various organizations and agencies committed to conserving the endangered rusty patched bumble bee and all bumble bees. Anyone, anywhere with an iNaturalist account can take part in this project that will help document bumble bee occurrence and abundance during peak times in the eastern United States.

If you live in Wisconsin, you can get involved with much-needed monitoring efforts for the endangered Karner blue butterfly. One of our many partners, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, maintains a citizen science monitoring program for the Karner blue.

Learn more about a variety of other citizen-based monitoring efforts that help us to keep tabs on the status of federally endangered and threatened species that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources administers.