by C. Infante
If you live in Northfield Township (NFT), you might be interested in participating in a community initiative to construct a green corridor for monarch butterflies and promote the health of honey bees—and get paid for your efforts! My name is C. Infante and I raise honey bees in NFT. I am trying to coordinate the creation of green infrastructure in our community that takes advantage of recent federal conservation policies.
As you may know, last week the White House announced its National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators (Pollinator Health Strategy 2015 (pdf)).  Michigan is one of the five states slated to receive a portion of the $11 million designated to support this national cause (USDA Provides $8 Million to Help Boost Declining Honey Bee Population).  While the deadline to apply for the initial $3 million has passed, the Michigan USDA is accepting another round of applications through their Environmental Quality Incentives Program. More Links: (EQIP Initiatives in Michigan)(Honeybee Initiative Fact Sheet(pdf))
The deadline for backyard grants (EQIP) is Friday, JUNE 12th. 
Ann Arbor USDA/NRCS Field Office for Washtenaw and Wayne counties  (Full list of field and regional offices)
7203 Jackson Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Phone: 734/761-6722
FAX: 855/665-5586
Mason USDA/NRCS Field Office for Livingston & Ingham counties)
521 N. Okemos Road
Mason, MI 48854
Phone: 517/676-4644
FAX: 866/314-9028
Lapeer USDA/NRCS Field Office for Oakland & Lapeer counties
700 South Main Street, Suite 120C
Lapeer, MI 48446
Phone: 810/664-0895
FAX: 855/781-2331
Our township is blessed with vast natural habitats ideally suited to honey bees and other pollinators, especially Monarch butterflies who feed exclusively on milkweed—a plant that grows in abundance across NFT.  (Here is how to get your free milkweed seeds).

Together, we could play a significant role in this national conservation movement if we incorporate this role in our township’s future development. In addition to the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grants, there are myriadfunding opportunities available for those interested in participating in the recovery of the honey bee and monarch populations.  See the DNR Guide to Backyard Wildlife Management and the DNR Guide to Applying for Available DNR Wildlife Habitat Grants. We can also urge our township officials to consider making Whitmore Lake one of the first "Bee Cities" in Michigan (Ypsilanti is currently exploring this certification--see

I welcome your ideas and suggestions! You can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you for listening! --Cecilia