As local park visitation increases nationwide, Parks for Pollinators encourages Americans to connect with local parks to support pollinators
Ashburn, Va. (September 1, 2020) — To help protect local pollinators that are critical to the food supply in areas across the county, The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation will host the second annual Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz during September to celebrate pollinators and raise awareness and community involvement in the pollinator crisis.
Parks play a key role in protecting and preserving pollinators and their habitats. According to a recent NRPA survey, two in three park and recreation leaders report increased usage of their agency's parks compared to this time last year, with a median rise of 25 percent. The Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz will give those park visitors an opportunity to explore parks while engaging in important pollinator preservation work virtually. BioBlitz events are designed to create a literal snapshot of plants, insects and animals to see what wildlife is present in local parks. Participants can use the iNaturalist platform, a website and app, that records and identifies observations during the BioBlitz to submit their images.
“Park and recreation professionals, who serve nearly every community in the U.S., are essential in combating the causes and impacts of climate change, which includes addressing the important role pollinators play in our daily lives and inspire individuals to take action.” said Kellie May, NRPA vice president of partnerships, programs and development. “NRPA is proud to partner with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation on this important campaign,”
Originally planned for Pollinator Month in June, the campaign was shifted to September to allow parks and recreation agencies time to adjust programming and implement social distancing and other practices to ensure community members’ health and safety.
"The health of our ecosystems depends on the health of our pollinators. An important step in protecting the bees, butterflies and other pollinators in our communities is recognizing the specific types that thrive in our own backyards and parks," said Jim King, president of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. “It’s more essential than ever that we raise awareness for how individuals and communities can work together –– and safely amid the continuing pandemic –– to protect pollinators and pollinator-friendly spaces.”
As part of the Parks for Pollinators campaign, NRPA and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation granted $20,000 to the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department to create pollinator habitats and educate local children, families and community members on pollinator issues through a Parks for Pollinators Bioblitz. The City of Dallas will install a pollinator habitat at Crawford Memorial Park in southern Dallas. This aligns with the agency’s efforts to improve pollinator conservation efforts throughout the city, focusing on increasing connectivity for both wildlife to habitat and people to nature. The garden will act as a waystation for pollinators and have elements of both a formal garden and a maintained wildflower area to showcase the beauty of pollinator gardens and also connect communities to larger scale installations and the cost effectiveness of native habitat. The pollinator habitat will be utilized as an outdoor classroom along with the other nearby prairies.
“Dallas is focused on protecting our natural resources and educating communities on how nature and pollinators affect our daily lives. Creating a pollinator garden at Crawford Park will provide an outdoor classroom and a natural space for residents to enjoy all year round,” said John D. Jenkins, director, Dallas Park and Recreation. “Conservation activities like BioBlitz are hands-on ways for them to get excited about protecting Dallas’ natural habitats and wildlife and feel that they belong to nature.”
NRPA and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation began their partnership in 2018 with the creation of the Parks for Pollinators campaign to raise public awareness of pollinator health and encourage local action through public parks and pollinator gardens. Together, as part of ScottsMiracle-Gro’s GroMoreGood initiative, they are working to educate more children, families and communities about the importance of pollinators and what people can do to help.
In addition to its GroMoreGood gardens and greenspaces initiative, ScottsMiracle-Gro has engaged in a multiyear Pollinator Promise effort since 2015 to help home gardeners, community gardeners and urban planners understand the critical role pollinators play in our ecosystem and to provide them with the tools necessary to grow successful pollinator gardens.
To learn more about Parks for Pollinators or find a local event, visit www.nrpa.org/parks4pollinators.
To learn more about the GroMoreGood initiative, visit www.GroMoreGood.org.
About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.
About The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation
The mission of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is to inspire, connect and cultivate a community of purpose. The Foundation is deeply rooted in helping create healthier communities, empower the next generation, and preserve our planet. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that funds non-profit entities that support its core initiatives in the form of grants, endowments and multi-year capital gifts. For more information, visit www.scottsmiraclegrofoundation.org.