Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz

About the Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz

When: September 1 – 30, 2020
Location: Online at Parks for Pollinators 2020: Graham Recreation and Parks

About

Graham Recreation & Parks is hosting a BioBlitz event during the month of September as part of the national Parks for Pollinators campaign, which is aimed at raising public awareness of the importance of pollinators and positioning parks as national leaders in advancing pollinator health. Organized by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, the Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz event is held during September.

Pollinators are a vital component of our ecosystem, and an essential link to the world’s food supply. According to the White House’s Pollinators Health Task Force, during the last 30 years, the United States has seen a steady decline of pollinators (such as bees, bats and butterflies) at an alarming rate of 30 percent annually — making it vital to take action on pollinator protection.

“Pollinators are critical for the health and wellbeing of our communities. Taking steps to protect our various pollinators has never been more important,” said Karl Schrass, NRPA director of conservation. “This September, we challenge park and recreation professionals to host BioBlitz events in their parks to educate members of the public about the importance of our pollinators. Park agencies that participate have the chance to win $1,000 to support the creation of pollinator habitat in parks. This work is possible thanks to our partnership with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation.”

“Research shows us that people want to take action and protect pollinator health, but often times, they simply don’t know what to do,” said Carol Nowlin, corporate responsibility manager at ScottsMiracle-Gro. “A key piece of our partnership with NRPA is educating more community members, families and children on the steps they can take to support pollinators. And there’s no better location to do that than at their local park.”

According to a poll conducted by NRPA, nearly all adults in the United States agree that promoting pollinator health should be a conservation priority across the United States. Promoting pollinator health includes protecting against the decline and death of pollinators, such as honey bees and other insects, and increasing their habitat.

Park and recreation agencies from across the country will be hosting Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz events throughout the month. You can learn more about the Parks for Pollinators initiative and see which agencies are participating by visiting www.nrpa.org/bioblitz.  

What’s a BioBlitz?

The Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz is an event where community members work with park staff to create a snapshot of the variety of wildlife that can be found in Graham, North Carolina. We use an app called iNaturalist to take pictures of plants, insects and animals to see what wildlife is present in parks and our community and provide us with more information about pollinators, which are essential to our ecosystem. This information will help us understand how we can better protect pollinators and other important wildlife in our community. The Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz is organized by the National Recreation and Park Association. 

To Get Started

  1. Download the iNaturalist app on your mobile device and create an account. If visiting the website use the link Parks for Pollinators 2020: Graham Recreation and Parks.
  2. From the “Community” tab, click on Projects and join “Parks for Pollinators 2020: Graham Recreation and Parks”!
  3. Anytime in September 2020, go out and observe pollinators (bee, butterfly, bat, etc.) or pollinator-friendly plants in Alamance County. Snap photos, identify the organism as best as you can, add your location, and save your observation.

Thank You to our Community Partners

Each week we will share information through our social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, about how to help pollinators and available resources for backyard gardeners and nature enthusiasts, provided by our community partners. #Parks4Pollinators 

Alamance County 4-H
Alamance County Beekeepers
Alamance County Public Libraries
Alamance Community College Horticulture Technology 

Community Partners

Alamance County 4-H

Taylor Jones, Extension Agent & 4-H Youth Development Coordinator with the Alamance County Cooperative Extension, tells us how pollinators are the COOLEST critters. Check out this video on how to make your own bee/bug motel that lots of native pollinators use to make their homes in. Also be sure to check out this website, for more information from NC State University about pollinators and how important they are. 

Learn more at Alamance County 4-H

Alamance County Beekeepers

Fun Facts about Honey Bees!
 
Did you know…
• bees are great pollinators – they can visit up to 5,000 flowers in a single day
• bees are great dancers – they do the waggle dance!
• bees are great producers – they make honey, beeswax, bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly
• bees are great fliers – they fly 20mph, and carry heavy pollen in baskets on their hind legs!
• bees are so much more than insects – to learn more about becoming a beekeeper, or about honeybees in general, visit Alamance County Beekeepers

Alamance Community College Horticulture Technology 

Liz Riley, Department Head of ACC’s Horticulture Technology, is sharing information about their farm and greenhouses, the use of beneficial insects for pest management, and pollinator friendly plants. Plantworks Nursery and the plants they offer for pollinators is also highlighted in the short and informative clip.

Learn more at Alamance Community College Horticulture Technology 

Alamance County Public Libraries

Mary Beth, librarian with the Alamance County Public Libraries, is sharing the great books available at your local library about pollinators and gardening in North Carolina. 

Learn more at Alamance County Public Libraries.