National Pollinator Garden Network
The National Pollinator Garden Network has issued a Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across America. The goal is to move millions of individuals, kids and families outdoors and make a connection between pollinators and healthy food that people eat.
Pollinators including honeybees, native bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and other insects as well as certain birds and bats, fertilize plants, allowing them to reproduce and produce seeds and fruits, and are vital for the health of natural ecosystems and agriculture. One third of all the food we eat is the direct result of pollinators. But pollinator declines in recent decades have been steep and severe due to habitat loss, parasites, pesticides and other threats. Monarch populations have plummeted over the last 20 years.
The Pollinator Garden should
- Use plants that provide nectar and pollen sources,
- Provide plenty of water,
- Create large pollinator targets of native plants,
- Establish continuous bloom throughout the growing seasons, and
- Eliminate or minimize the impact of pesticides.
Creating gardens for the pollinators we increase the health of pollinators. This challenge increases awareness of the importance of pollinators for our food supply. People play a critical role in reducing the declining pollinator population.
Eleven years ago, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved and designed a week in June as “National Pollinator Week.” This marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent need of the declining pollinator population. It has now grown into an international celebration of bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. Mark your calendar for the week of June 17 – 23 2019.
The National Pollinator Garden Network was launched in partnership with the garden trade, other conservation organizations and volunteer civic groups to inspire people and organizations to create more pollinator habitats. Visit their website to get ideas and resources for your garden. Every little bit helps.
The success of this challenge is that Americans love pollinators and want to see them protected for the future health of wildlife and humans, alike. A movement has begun to adopt more environmentally friendly practices into homes and businesses. Coming together as a community to work toward a shared goal only increases opportunities for collaboration and innovation, but has the ability to build strong, lasting efforts for wildlife. Businesses and communities have created a movement to adopt more environmentally friendly practices.
GreyRock can do its part in supporting this effort by encouraging planting of native plants that support pollinators and informing owners about this problem and what they can do to help. This article brings awareness to owners around the country about the need to encourage the health of pollinators. As you are planning for the upcoming spring, consider creating a pollinator rich environment in your garden.
By Fay Kobland, Member of the Board and Mar-Com Committee