Washington, DC and Jacksonville, Texas
In concert with the 10th anniversary of National Pollinator Week, June 19-25, 2017, the National Gardening Association, as part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, (MPGC), is calling on our members and all citizens to plant for pollinators and increase critically needed pollinator habitat gardens.
Pollinators are responsible for 1 out of 3 bites of food we take each day, but pollinators, like bees, butterflies and some birds and bats, are at a critical point in their own survival. Many reasons contribute to their recent decline, however, in areas where people are planting more nectar and pollen sources provided by flowering plants and trees, we are seeing improvements in their health and numbers. Our goal is simple: to increase those plant populations by motivating gardeners to grow them. 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 and more.
To highlight the importance of National Pollinator Week and the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge across the U.S., on Thursday, June 22, 2017, Daymond John, beekeeper and co-host of Shark Tank will join the National Wildlife Federation in lighting the Empire State Building in yellow and black stripes to symbolize a pollinating bee. In addition, to raise awareness across North America, Pollinator Partnership of Canada has coordinated with the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario to also be lit in similar colors on June, 22, 2017, and for a Niagara Falls pollinator color display to close out the week on Monday June 26.
Communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals throughout North America are engaged in the pollinator health movement, planting, educating and recruiting others. Examples include:
Public gardens and zoos are planting “showcase” pollinator gardens and educating millions of their visitors on plant conservation and pollinator protection.
Conservation organizations like, Monarch Watch and The National Wildlife Federation members have contributed thousands of pollinator garden habitats to be counted in the challenge annually.
National Garden Clubs, Inc. estimates an additional 100,000 gardens have been planted or enhanced since the campaign has commenced. Other voluntary membership groups, such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, and Scout groups are planting hundreds of gardens annually across private and public spaces.
The National Gardening Association reported that in the last 3 years over 58,000 photos of pollinator-friendly plants have been uploaded to their member-driven database of plants.
In addition, thousands of garden centers are supplying pollinator-beneficial plants to consumers along with regional advice on plant selection and care. Garden centers have self-reported increases in sales and customer requests for pollinator friendly plants nationwide over the last 2 years. In St. Louis, MO, Greenscapes Garden Center for example, reported a 30% increase in annually pollinator perennial sales the past 3 years. In 2017, sales of these plants are expected to exceed $110,000 within a native perennial department that sees annual sales of approximately $600,000. Garden centers have also reported increases in the highly attended pollinator workshops and festivals they host seasonally.
In recognition of Pollinator Week, National Gardening Association is awarding the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge microbadge to all Garden.org members who register their garden.
Based on similar success stories submitted to the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, it is conservatively estimated that a half million gardens are in the ground with over 200,000 mapped and registered .
National commitment to this campaign has doubled since the MPGC launch two years ago. The MPGC is an initiative of the National Pollinator Garden Network, which is now at an unprecedented collaboration of 46 national, regional, conservation, gardening groups and 8 participating Federal Agencies. These groups collectively represent nearly one million active gardeners and 15,000 schoolyard gardens.
"We are proud to be a co-founder of the National Pollinator Garden Network and the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, to provide much needed habitat for bees and other pollinators. With pollinators responsible for one out of every three bites of food, these collective efforts address the growing threats affecting so much of our bees and other pollinators. All gardeners can make a huge difference by simply growing pollinator-friendly plants in their existing gardens," said Dave Whitinger, Executive Director of the National Gardening Association.
WHAT IS POLLINATION?
Pollination is a vital stage in the life cycle of all flowering plants. When pollen is moved within a flower or carried from one flower to another of the same species it leads to fertilization. This transfer of pollen is necessary for healthy and productive native and agricultural ecosystems. About 75% of all flowering plant species need the help of animals to move their heavy pollen grains from plant to plant for fertilization. Most pollinators (about 200,000 species) are beneficial insects such as flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths, and bees.
WHY ARE POLLINATORS IMPORTANT? BEE IN THE KNOW!
Pollinators are often keystone species, meaning that they are critical to an ecosystem. The work of pollinators ensures full harvests of crops and contributes to healthy plants everywhere. An estimated 1/3 of all foods and beverages is delivered by pollinators. In the U.S., pollination produces nearly $20 billion worth of products annually.
HOW TO JOIN THE MILLION POLLINATOR GARDEN CHALLENGE AND REGISTER
The one criterion common to all gardens on the map is that the plants used in the garden (no matter what the size) provide nectar and pollen. The MPGC encourage gardens to also provide a water source, be planted in sunny areas with wind breaks, create large “pollinator targets” of native or non-invasive plants, establish continuous bloom throughout the growing season, and eliminate or minimize the impact of pesticides. Here’s the link to register your garden: /pollinators/
To learn more about the challenge, visit www.millionpollinatorgardens.org .
SHARE SOCIALLY: (6/22/17-6/26/17)
When posting about this event on social media, draw extra attention to your posts by using the hashtag #PolliNATION.
The Big Apple is buzzing with #PolliNATION. Help us plant a Million Pollinator Gardens across NYC and North America.
Iconic NYC and Toronto Landmarks to be lit in bee colors to build awareness of #PolliNATION. #millionpollinatorgardens.org
About The National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN) is an unprecedented collaboration of 46 national, regional, conservation, gardening groups and 8 participating Federal Agencies. Its eight founding private nonprofit members were convened in fall 2014 to propose public/private sector efforts to help restore critical pollinator populations. The focus of the NPGN is: to inspire individuals and community groups, institutions and the garden industry to create more pollinator habitat through sustainable gardening practices, habitat conservation and provide these groups the tools to be successful.
NPGN Founding Members Contacts
Pollinator Partnership, Val Dolcini, email@example.com
National Wildlife Federation, Mary Phillips, firstname.lastname@example.org
AmericanHort, Craig Regelbrugge, CraigR@AmericanHort.org
American Public Gardens Association, Sara Beck, Sbeck@publicgardens.org
American Seed Trade Association, Janice Walters, email@example.com
KidsGardening.org, Emily Shipman firstname.lastname@example.org
National Gardening Association, Dave Whitinger, email@example.com
National Garden Bureau, Diane Blazek, firstname.lastname@example.org
For a full list of the 46-member organizations, please visit http://www.millionpollinatorgardens.org