It’s National Pollinator Week! A time to celebrate earth’s pollinators and address the urgent issue of pollinator population decline. Initiated and managed by Pollinator Partnership, National Pollinator Week became designated by the U.S. Senate in 2007 and has become an international observance. The week-long celebration creates awareness and promotes the services provided by birds, bees, butterflies, beetles, bats, and all of our pollinators.
Pollinator Partnership’s mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Why are pollinators so crucial? They are responsible for sustaining our ecosystems that clean the air, support other wildlife, and stabilize soils. Pollinators also aid in producing our natural resources by helping plants reproduce. Between 75% and 95% of all flowering plants need help with pollination, including 1200 crops. That means that pollinators bring us one out of every three bites of food!
This precious resource requires support and attention now more than ever, as evidence shows our pollinators are in jeopardy due to loss of feeding and nesting habitats, pollution, disease, and misuse of chemicals. So, what can we do to help?
- Add a natural habitat to your landscape
- Plant native plants that have evolved alongside native pollinators
- Include plants in clumps of three or more that flower in succession from spring to fall
- Grow plants that feed all stages of the pollinators’ life cycle
- Eliminate or minimize pesticide use
- Leave some leaf litter, and don’t be so quick to deadhead plants in the fall so that pollinators have a place to overwinter
- Provide a source of water
- Leave the white clover and dandelions in the lawn-they are a food source for pollinators
- Get involved and spread the word about the importance of pollinators
Events often featured during National Pollinator Week include webinars, planting sessions, garden and farm walks, and educational opportunities. Check your local community to see what events are taking place to celebrate.
Let’s honor our pollinators not just during National Pollinator Week but all year long by taking steps in our yards and communities to ensure they not only survive but thrive. We can all do our part by planting for pollinators and spreading the word about how important these creatures are to the health of our planet.
Source: Pollinator Partnership