May 25, 2018
A Good Goal to ReachBy Tim Hodson

The quest for 1 million pollinator gardens is nearing its goal — but it still needs a little help.

According to the National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN), since 2015, more than 700,000 pollinator gardens have been designed, planted and registered across the United States.

The NPGN hopes to hit the 1 million bee-friendly gardens goal by National Pollinator Week, June 18-24, 2018.

By creating, planting and maintaining a garden, and registering it on the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge map, Americans can contribute to revitalizing the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across the U.S.

The National Pollinator Garden Network is a partnership between horticulture and conservation organizations, gardening groups, volunteer civic associations and participating federal agencies to inspire the creation of more pollinator habitats. The nine founding organizations launched NPGN in 2015.

Did you know that one out of every three bites of food we eat is the direct result of a pollinator’s work? Those are the findings of researchers at Cornell University who say this contributes $29 billion to America’s food production. But pollinator declines in recent years have continued due to habitat loss, parasites and other threats.

“One thing is clear, Americans love pollinators and their efforts are paying off. Research in recent articles, such as the Journal of Applied Ecology, have shown that even small gardens can make a difference for pollinators by increasing diversity of bee species across urban and suburban landscapes,” says Mary Phillips, senior director at the National Wildlife Federation, one of the founders of the network.

Growers and garden centers are encouraged to participate in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge … and to help educate their customers on the benefits of pollinators. And it looks like it is paying off.

“Leaders in the garden trade and horticulture sector have stepped up to meet consumer demand for pollinator-friendly plant material and educate its professionals on sustainable methods that support habitat,” says AmericanHort’s Craig Regelbrugge.

You can get involved or learn more about NPGN by visiting http://millionpollinatorgardens.org.

And don’t forget, National Pollinator Week is June 18-24.

— Tim

 


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Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]



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