student gardner workforce

Event to generate some buzz on importance of pollinators

March 25, 2019

Pollinator Day will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time on April 27 at the Purdue Research Park of Southeast Indiana, 3000 Technology Ave., New Albany. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

"Native pollinators are an important part of our ecosystem," said Gina Anderson, Floyd County Extension educator and event organizer. "This event will allow participants to take part in a variety of classes and activities and to speak with experts about how to create a backyard environment for these beneficial species."

There are a wide variety of animals classified as pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, birds, ants, beetles, flies, moths and wasps. These species face a variety of challenges that include habitat loss and degradation as well as the overuse or improper use of pesticides, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Beyond the environmental concern, these animals are a critical part of the food system. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service estimates that of the 1,400 crop plants grown around the world, nearly 80 percent must be pollinated by animals. Those pollination services have an annual economic impact of more than $3 trillion globally and $10 billion in the United States.

Classes being offered during Pollinator Day include:

* Container Planting for Butterflies, with sessions starting at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.

* Planting Your Yard for Birds at 10:30 a.m.

* Bumblebees at 10:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

* Monarchs at 11:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Participants also can ask Sunnyside Master Gardeners their gardening questions, and the Spring Valley Beekeepers will be available to answer beekeeping questions and provide tours of three hives. There also will be an observation hive where people can get a view of its inner workings.

Educational booths will have information on native bees, butterflies, pollinators and our food supply, hummingbirds, native plants, and planting for pollinators. In addition, there will be a Busy Bee Youth Corner for crafts, a beeswax lip balm station and a pollinator "selfie" booth. Vendors also will be on site with pollinator-related items for sale, and there will be a lunch option available.

Youths attending can get a free T-shirt and each family can get a complimentary canvas tote bag, while supplies last.

Pollinator Day is funded in part through a Duke Energy Foundation grant. More event information is available on Purdue Extension-Floyd County's Facebook page or its website at www.extension.purdue.edu/floyd. Those with additional questions can contact Anderson at 812-948-5470 or gmanders@purdue.edu.

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