National Pollinator Week is almost here! Celebrate the vital role bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles play in a healthy and resilient landscape. Pollinator Week is June 19th -25th, 2023!
Pollinator week history
In 2009 The U.S. Senate approved and designated a week in June as “National Pollinator Week”, marked as a necessary step toward addressing the declining populations of our pollinators. Pollinator Week is managed by Pollinator Partnership and has grown into an international celebration that promotes and celebrates our valuable pollinating species. Groups and individuals around the world have pledged to promote their health and well-being through education and events during this special week.
A celebration of pollination
Pollination occurs when an animal carries pollen from the male part of the flower (stamen) to the female part (stigma) of the same or another flower. It is through this process that the plant is fertilized and go on to produce fruits and seeds. While some plants can pollinate themselves, and others rely on the movement of wind or water, the vast majority of flowering plants need critters such as bees, wasps, moths, butterflies, flies, birds, and bats to move pollen between blooms. This includes 35% of the world’s food crops like almonds, coffee, avocados and so much more.
Help fight pollinator population decline caused by habitat degradation, loss of nesting sites, and use of pesticides. It is time to raise awareness about the issues surrounding our pollinators and spread the word about what we can do to protect them.
Here are ten things you can do in your yard to help save pollinators.
1. Plant a pollinator garden—provide nectar plants (flowers and herbs). Visit our website for more information on planting a pollinator garden or how to register your existing garden.
2. Provide a water source—place shallow dishes of water in sunny areas or create a PolliPool.
3. Provide shelter and overwintering habitat – bee boxes, undisturbed soil, and small brush piles are used by native insects. Learn about Air BeeNBee boxes here.
4. Stop or limit the use of pesticides. Use Natural Alternatives.
5. Provide a sheltered sunny area out of the wind – a sun-drenched stone near a shrub is the perfect place for bees and butterflies to rest and recharge.
6. Plant native species. Mimic local natural areas by selecting native plants. Bluebonnets and black-eyed Susans aren’t just roadside beauties. Make your pollinator garden a season-long showstopper with native plants and wildflowers for your neighbors and pollinators to enjoy. Get stared with these local stars.
7. Grow flowers throughout the seasons. Provide a variety of colors and shapes.
8. Plant in clumps and layers. There are 7 layers to a forest – which one(s) are missing from your yard? A mix of tall, canopy tress, smaller trees and shrubs, underplanted with low-growing perennials and vines makes for a rich habitat. Fill in bare spots with flowering annuals.
9. Use compost instead of commercial fertilizers. The organic matter in compost fuels and promotes the interdependent relationship between roots, soil microbes, and fungi that pull nutrients in from a much wider area than plant roots can reach on their own. So, loading the soil with a diverse and abundant mix of organisms found in compost directly promotes plant health. Source great local compost or make your own. Learn how you can compost here.
10. Look but do not touch. More than being mindful of a potential sting, pollinators are delicate insects easily harmed if handled. Take a photo instead! Keep track of your garden sightings with iNaturalist – learn how you can save pollinators with your phone Here!
Join the BioBlitz
In celebration of plants and animals of the Pineywoods, the Township is hosting a week-long “BioBlitz” – a community effort to identify as many local species as possible during National Pollinator Week, June 19 through June 25, 2023. This effort is a fun, informal opportunity to learn together and share enthusiasm for nature. You don’t need to be an expert! The iNaturalist app makes it easy discover new things right outside your back door. Click here to learn more.
Join us for the in-person BioBooth, Saturday, June 24, 2023, from 8 to 11 a.m. at The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park, 6464 Creekside Forest Drive. Marvel at the display of biological wonders and look through the microscope to see butterflies and their host plants up close. Experts will be on hand to help with iNaturalist observations and answer questions on local insects, frogs, plants, birds, mushrooms, and more. This is a free event for all ages! Click here to learn more.