NGA Joins National Pollinator Garden Network to Launch Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
WASHINGTON, DC (June 3, 2015) - The National Gardening Association is joining with dozens of conservation and gardening organizations as well as seed groups to form the National Pollinator Garden Network and launch a new nationwide campaign - the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. Designed to accelerate growing efforts across America, the Network is launching the Challenge in support of President Barack Obama's call to action to reverse the decline of pollinators, such as honey bees, native bees and hummingbirds, as well as monarch butterflies.
Jennifer Tedeschi, Chief Operating Officer of the National Gardening Association, was among the representatives of the Network joining First Lady Michelle Obama today at the White House garden, which includes a section dedicated to support pollinators, to formally launch the Challenge. Tedeschi pledged the Association's support through KidsGardening.org, which offers resources, lesson plans, and activities to educate the next generation on the importance of pollinators.
″All pollinators are critical to our ecosystems, as well as our Nation's economic well-being. We know that honey bees alone contribute over $15 billion to U.S. food production,″ said Tedeschi. ″NGA has worked for over 40 years to educate people of all ages about the personal and community benefits of gardening. We are thrilled to be partnering with so many experts in conservation, ecosystems, and horticulture to bring this challenge to the American people and engage them in protecting pollinators thereby protecting our environment and food systems.″
The National Pollinator Garden Network collectively represents nearly one million active gardeners and 15,000 schoolyard gardens. The Network is challenging the nation to reach the goal of one million additional pollinator gardens by the end of 2016. The Network will work to provide resources for individuals, community groups, government agencies and the garden industry to create more pollinator habitat through sustainable gardening practices and conservation efforts.
As noted in President Obama's 2014 Presidential Memorandum on Pollinator Health and recently released National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, federal action combined with private sector partnerships and strong citizen engagement can restore pollinator populations to healthy levels. Pollinator gardens provide one way to reverse that decline by offering food, water, cover and places to raise young for honey bees, native bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators.
To tackle these challenges, the Network is rallying hundreds of thousands of gardeners, horticultural professionals, schools, and volunteers to help reach a million pollinator gardens over the next two years. Any individual can contribute by planting for pollinators and joining this effort to provide a million pollinator gardens across the United States. Every habitat of every size counts, from window boxes and garden plots to farm borders, golf courses, school gardens, corporate and university campuses. Everywhere we live, work, play and worship can, with small improvements, offer essential food and shelter for pollinators.
Full list of National Pollinator Garden Network partner organizations:
Learn more at www.millionpollinatorgardens.org and join the discussion on Twitter through the hashtag #PolliNation.
Jennifer Tedeschi, National Gardening Association, Jennt@garden.org p.802-863-5251 x112
The National Gardening Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Williston, VT. Their mission is to empower every generation to lead healthier lives, build stronger communities, and encourage environmental stewardship through educational gardening programs. To learn more and support their efforts visit http://www.garden.org/MPGC.