Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz
About the Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz
When: September 1 – 30, 2023
Location: Virtual & Graham’s Parks
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 in 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 well-being of our communities. Taking steps to protect our various pollinators has never been more important,” said Michele White, NRPA program manager of the Parks for Pollinator campaign. “This September, we challenge park and recreation professionals to host BioBlitz events in their communities to educate members of the public about the importance of our pollinators. Park agencies that participate have the chance to win one of three $1,000 to support the creation of pollinator habitats 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 oftentimes, they simply don’t know what to do,” said Carol Nowlin, corporate responsibility manager at Scotts Miracle-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 Alamance County, 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.
Data gathered can generate biological records. These records can be used for scientific research, as well as inform conservation practices, local planning, and land management on a multitude of levels. Some basic applications for this information could be:
• List of invasive species that are located in your parks that your park’s team or volunteers can help to remove and reduce
• List of native plants that are located in your parks — helping you understand if there is a balance to those species and if certain habitats need to be strengthened (For example, if you found Monarchs but don’t have a lot of milkweed, you may need to correct that imbalance.)
• Aiding in the creation of educational materials for your community (and park staff) on what can be found in their parks
• Overall biodiversity index for your parks to help inform conservation and sustainability planning for your agency
To Get Started
- On Mobile Device: Download the iNaturalist app on your mobile device and create an account. Under “Projects”, search “Parks for Pollinators 2023: Graham Recreation and Parks” (how to video)
- On Desktop: Use the link Parks for Pollinators 2023: Graham Recreation and Parks
- From the “Community” tab, click on “Projects”, then search and join “Parks for Pollinators 2023: Graham Recreation and Parks”!
- Anytime in September 2023, 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
Take a look below at the videos our community partners shared during the 2020 BioBlitz, including information about how to help pollinators and available resources for backyard gardeners and nature enthusiasts. #Parks4Pollinators
Community Partners from the 2020 BioBlitz
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
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