Earth day is fast approaching, and I was trying to think of something to do with my little man this past weekend to celebrate. I took him to the local Audubon Society to participate in the first Annual Pollinator Parade. This celebration was to raises awareness of the critically low numbers of Monarch butterfly population and the plight of many other pollinator species.
Children and parents were encouraged to don their wings and antennas, to participate in the parade around Gilsland Farm. They had a scavenger hunt, an obstacle course of the Monarch butterfly’s migration from Maine to Mexico, art projects and a bee display.
Me being the procrastinator I am, waiting until Saturday night to make Elliot’s wings, and at the last minute decided I wanted to make dream catcher wings. We joined the ranks of butterflies, spiders, bees, hummingbirds, and many other giggly wiggly creatures to celebrate these unsung heroes of our planet.
We learned a lot about the importance of pollinators in our ecosystems. Creatures like bee’s, hummingbirds, butterflies and other insects are largely responsible for many of the fruit and vegetable we eat. Things like apples, strawberries, almonds, pumpkins, cucumbers and many more exist due to the hard work of these amazing critters. I know I could not survive without almonds and strawberries, and let’s not for HONEY!!
So what is the job of a pollinator? They transfer pollen from one flower to another, fertilizing the plant so that it can grow and produce seeds and food. According to the Maine Audubon, cross-pollination helps in at least 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of the wild plants to thrive. Without them many plants would not survive. These are the little things we forget about as we go about our everyday life. Without pollinator, we would not have our beautiful fresh organic nourishing fruits and veggies!
Some of the things that that threaten the survival of pollinator like the Monarch butterfly and bees are insecticide such as Neonicotinoids, which are found on pre-treated seeds, the loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitat, non-native species and climate changes, all contribute to the loss of our pollinator champions!
What can we do to help pollinators survive?
- Pesticide Free Lawns and Gardens: This not only helps the pollinators, but also keeps your children and pets from being exposed to toxic chemicals.
- Plan a Pollinator Garden
- Set up a watering station for bees
Here are some additional resources to help Pollinators in you own yard: