Pictured: Monarch butterfly on a purple wildflower. Photo by James Lewis.
This September, NRPA hosted its fifth annual Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz, a national campaign to raise awareness and community involvement in the pollinator crisis through local parks and recreation and like-minded organizations. NRPA and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation join forces to challenge local parks to get involved by hosting a BioBlitz.
More than 80 organizations joined us this year, from zoos to museums, village parks departments to county and state parks departments. Projects were held in 26 states across the country from Alaska to Florida. The number of different organizations invested in parks and ensuring biodiversity in their communities demonstrates how essential parks and their support of pollinators are to communities from coast to coast.
Across the country, 3,419 observers made 36,830 observations, documenting 4,853 species of flora and fauna using the iNaturalist app. The most identified pollinators were bees and butterflies, including monarchs, the gulf fritillary and the eastern carpenter bee. Visit NRPA’s Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz iNaturalist page to see all the observations and participating agencies and organizations this year.
Agencies that participate in the BioBlitz reap a wide variety of benefits, including measuring biodiversity and gaining community support for sustainability programming. To read more about how individual agencies are leveraging the BioBlitz check out our blog post here.
Those who hosted a BioBlitz event in September had the chance to win one of three $1,000 prizes or one of three Scotts Miracle-Gro prize packs, to help with pollinator habitats or programs.
Congratulations to the three $1,000 grand prize winners:
- The City of Elgin Parks and Recreation Department, Texas
- The City of Poulsbo Parks and Recreation, Washington
- New Hanover County Parks and Gardens, North Carolina
Congratulations to the three Scotts Miracle-Gro prize pack winners:
- The City of Pflugerville Parks and Recreation, Texas
- The City of Pasadena Parks and Recreation Department, Texas
- The City of Red Bank Parks Trails and Recreation Department, Tennessee
Thank you to everyone who participated and hosted events in their communities. NRPA will be collecting stories, images and feedback from everyone who signed up for our 2023 BioBlitz. Please send us your best stuff — we would love to share your stories! We hope to see even more of you join us in a future Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz.
Rukmini Kalamangalam (she/her) is a program specialist at NRPA.