Last Friday (June 23, 2013) the USDA FS Conservation Education Staff and myself were participating in the 2013 Pollinator Week. We set up a Forest Service information table and engaged several hundred visitors from a wide diversity of nationalities inquiring about pollinators, why they are important, and what they could do to help preserve a healthy environment for them. We distributed 200 of our 2013 multi-agency pollinator posters, and ran out of the remaining inventory of posters from previous years (2013 Pollinator Week poster is presented in the slideshow above). Some of our good FS friend (Woodsy The Owl, Mr. Caterpillar and Ms. Bee) were a hit with children.
This was an exiting event giving us the opportunity to reach out to the community and provide practical information. Many were surprised to find out that 75% of all flowering plant species need the help of animals to move their heavy pollen grains from plant to plant for fertilization and an estimated 1/3 of all foods and beverages could not be produced without the ecosystem service provided by pollinators for free, which amounts to $20 billion worth of products annually!
Many visitors were gardeners so they got motivated to find out there was actually many simple things they could do to help pollinators. Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides, increase pollinator friendly gardens with native plants, and being active about educating others about the importance of pollinators and how they can help are some of the things they could do.
Bee Smart: Pollinator Friendly Gardeners Guide App with a database of native plants for your region and pollinators you which to attract to your garden.