In honor of National Pollinator Week this week, states are taking the opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and what citizens can do to protect them. Below are three innovative ways states celebrated the valuable ecosystem services provided by pollinators.
The DC Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) handed out native pollinator plant seeds at its offices and on the National Mall in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The giveaway is part of DOEE’s effort to encourage DC residents to grow native plants that create valuable habitat for pollinators that are necessary for healthy and diverse plant life.
Fun fact: DC was the first major city on the East Coast to be designated a Bee City USA.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shared the first Annual Minnesota State Agency Pollinator Report. The report was assembled after Governor Mark Dayton issued an executive order calling for the creation of a team of state agency experts to take immediate action to restore the state’s pollinator health. It states that the desired outcome “is healthy, diverse pollinator populations that sustain and enhance Minnesota’s environment, economy, and quality of life.”
Fun fact: The estimated annual value of honey bees’ pollination of food crops in the United States is $16 billion.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources participated in the Missourians for Monarchs event at the Runge Nature Center. Missourians for Monarchs is a statewide conservation collaborative with a mission of increasing and sustaining habitat for monarch butterflies and pollinators. Habitat loss currently is the major factor contributing to the decline of monarch butterflies.
Fun Fact: Missouri is within the migratory flyway of the monarch butterfly, so there is a great deal of opportunity within the state to increase monarch populations.