The news is filled with stories of just how bad it will be if the current trends with pollinators continue. Their job is vital to 85 percent of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of the world’s crop. As you take a bite of that pumpkin pie this holiday season, make sure you remember to thank a pollinator!
It’s not just pumpkins, either — we would lose scores of other delicious and essential things without pollinators. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), more than $15 billion worth of crops are pollinated by bees each year in the United States alone. But, their job is so much bigger than making food. Pollinators play a major role in many plant species reproduction and are essential to our ecosystems.
To save the pollinators, it will take all of us! We know you understand their importance. Many of you are teaching your communities why pollinators play a crucial role in our environment, while also including pollinator habitat in your conservation plans. And for this reason, we launched a national survey to determine the public’s perception of what is affecting the health of the pollinator species and how strongly they support actions that protect the species, both personally and in their communities. This knowledge will help us determine how we can better inform our communities. We will be sharing the results of this survey in the new year, so stay tuned!
Many of you have already started restoring or creating new pollinator habitats, so we reached out to see just how many habitats have been created, especially in the past three years. This was not only to learn more about how our park and recreation agencies are working to saving pollinators, but also to help the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a campaign to register a million public and private gardens and landscapes to support pollinators.
The information we collected will be added to this national challenge, with the goal of increasing nectar and pollen providing landscapes of every size to address one of the significant threats to pollinator health — the scarcity and degradation of forage for pollinators.
To see the NRPA Pollinator Habitat survey responses from across the country, check out our map.
If you are interested in sharing information on your pollinator habitat, please feel free to add it here.
And, to learn more on how to get involved in pollinator conservation activities, read our Monarch Resource Guide.
Cheers to everyone doing your part — have another slice of pie!
Michele White, CAE, IOM, is NRPA's Conservation Program Manager.
NRPA’s Parks for Pollinators initiative is focused on raising public awareness of the current pollinator crisis, encouraging local action, and positioning parks as a national leader in advancing pollinator health.