As you plan spring and summer activities that encourage people in your community to get outside, stay active and connect with nature, consider hosting a Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz! These events provide residents with opportunities to not only explore local parks, but also learn about the natural wonders around them. It may even inspire the next budding nature lover.
Information collected by your participants not only educates them about what they can find living in their neighborhoods but also helps you identify local species and understand how to best manage your natural areas. Even if you don’t have completely natural areas, your community still can come out to learn about pollinators and their local parks! Hosting a BioBlitz allows you to do all these things while bringing awareness to the importance of pollinators.
Expand pollinator knowledge with a BioBlitz
Did you know that a whole wide world of pollinators sits just outside your door? When asked to identify a pollinator, many could easily identify a Monarch butterfly or a Bumblebee. But did you know that in the United States alone, there are more than 4000 species of different bees and 750 species of various butterflies as well as thousands of species of wasps, moths, flies and beetles that do this important job too! And don’t forget that bird species such as Hummingbirds as well as a variety of mammals and bats also are pollinators. Explore the NRPA Parks for Pollinators story map for a preview of the pollinators in your neighborhood.
The wide world of pollinators keeps our habitats and open spaces healthy and blooming, allows us to grow produce in community gardens and ensures the ongoing health of our ecosystems. More importantly, we couldn’t survive without them! One out of every three bites of food exists because the miraculous wonders of pollinators. They ensure biodiversity and resilience of the ecosystems they live in. It’s important for us, as champions of our open spaces across the country, to advocate for the importance of pollinators and the steps everyone can take to protect them.
By hosting a BioBlitz, you can help promote pollinator awareness and engage your local community in a pollinator-focused activity. We encourage you to participate in NRPA’s second annual Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz during the month of September. The best part is that NRPA provides toolkits to help you set up, run and market your own BioBlitz.
Contribute to national data and win prizes
In 2019, 43 agencies from across the country participated. We hope these BioBlitz veterans join again and many new agencies join in this year!
NRPA needs park professionals to commit to host these events and help community members gather valuable data on pollinators and flowering plants across the country. This data, logged through the iNaturalist app by participants, contributes to a national collection of information that can help further pollinator research. The iNaturalist app helps educate by identifying species in pictures taken using smartphones. So, no need for you to be an expert in identifying plants or pollinators, the platform will do it for you! It also collects your data online, so you can use it for managing your parks. Learn more about the platform in the blog, “Where Are Your Bees and Butterflies?”.
Also, by hosting a BioBlitz event in September, you will be entered into a random drawing to win $1,000 and one of three Miracle-Gro prize packs. Learn more and join our campaign.
This work is made possible by Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation.
Michele White, CAE, IOM, is NRPA’s Conservation Program Manager.