June 18-24, 2012 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsak.
Pollinators “are responsible for pollinating nearly one-third of every bite of food we eat.” And, “the global value of crops pollinated by bees is estimated to be nearly $217 billion.”
Providing Pollinator Education and ‘How-to’ in Local Communities
We’ve already discussed Extension Master Gardeners are like pollinators in their local communities – providing education in many ways through gardening.
Extension Master Gardeners can be found highlighting the benefits and roles that pollinators play through hosting educational programs, answering questions via local events, hotlines or email, and often by helping those interested in planting pollinator friendly plants and gardens to do so effectively, enthusiastically, and sustainably!
Here are a few examples of Extension Master Gardeners involved with pollinator education and outreach:
- Penn State Extension Master Gardeners are involved with a unique pollinator certification program where Pennsylvania residents can apply to have a Certified Pennsylvania Pollinator Friendly Garden. Later this week, we’ll take a closer look at how this certification program fits together with other ways Penn State Master Gardeners are involved with pollinator education.
- Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia are celebrating National Pollinator Week by blogging about Echinacea, or rather those insects that are attracted to Echinacea. This blog post was fun to check out with Master Gardener Mary Free’s bright and bold pictures of eight insects found on Echinacea. Be ready! This post is a bit of a pop quiz!
- WSU Master Gardeners in Chelan County will provide two special opportunities to learn about pollinators this week. WSU Master Gardener Terry Anderson reports they’ll be out at a local farmer’s market (June 23) providing education and also at Waterpark front’s Xeric garden (June 23 and 24), where they’ll be sharing a set of posters the public can view. Here they will also have plants labeled and flagged so people can see firsthand which plants attract various pollinators and provide colorful flowers. (Read more in the full article published in their local paper,www.wenatcheeworld.com, June 19, 2012.
Above are just a few examples of how Extension Master Gardeners participate in pollinator education. Later this week, we’ll debut some new pollinator educational resources, look at a few examples of how Master Gardeners are involved with pollinator education and research, and find out where to explore bee health/ pollinator resources and citizen science activities.
Stay tuned for more pollinator inspired posts during National Pollinator Week 2012 on the Extension Master Gardener blog!
eXtension Consumer Horticulture Content Coordinator