The National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN) is an unprecedented collaboration of national, regional, and local gardening clubs. Its founding private nonprofit and garden industry members were convened in Fall 2014, to propose efforts to help restore critical pollinator populations in support of the President’s Executive Strategy to “Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.”
NPGN collectively represents approximately 800,000 gardeners, 10,000 schoolyard gardens and bring a baseline of a 250,000 registered pollinator gardens nationwide from across its five main founding organizations.
The focus of the NPGN is: to inspire individuals and community groups, institutions and the garden industry to create more pollinator habitat through sustainable gardening practices, habitat conservation and provide these groups the tools to be successful.
Loving Garland Green supports all efforts aimed at creating pollinator habitat nationwide. The monarch butterfly, an iconic species whose populations have declined by 90% in the last 20 years, is an indicator of the habitat decline and stress all pollinators are facing. Quality monarch habitat also helps other pollinators.
As you may know, our mayor, Doug Athas, has signed the Mayors' Monarch Pledge. Loving Garland Green is actively supporting our mayor in his efforts to call citizens' attention, not only to the plight of the Monarch butterflies, but to that of all pollinators. More than 90% of all plants need a pollinator to distribute pollen. Our native pollinators are in serious decline At least 185 species of pollinators are considered threatened or extinct by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) atn at least 2 bat and 13 bird species listed as endangered in the United State are pollinators. It is often repeated in the literature that at least 1/3 of all the food we eat is due to the work of pollinators.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF OUR POLLINATORS?
Actually there are several things you can do. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Come to the Garland Community Garden tomorrow.
The last Saturday of the month is our regular scheduled workday in the garden. Members gather at 10 AM and work until 2PM. Don't worry, we can work and talk at the same time. You won't be conscripted, however; any volunteer labor is gratefully accepted.
We have decided to add something special to these end-of-the-month workdays. GARDEN EVENTS FOR KIDS!
These educational events will last from 11AM to noon and will feature garden topics. Tomorrow we will be talking to the kiddos about pollinators. In addition to creating their own "pollinator on a stick", they will learn about the importance of pollinators and the relationship of pollinators to the food that appears on their table. In addition to the craft activity, we will also give the young people a handout on pollinators, a description of the Mayors' Monarch Pledge, and a free seed packet of Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed). The seed is already cold-stratified and is ready to be soaked overnight and planted.
2. Give the gift of a native plant. Bring a Texas Native Plant to the Garland Community Garden tomorrow. We will install it in the pollinator habitat we are building. If you donate a perennial, it may live longer than you do. It's also a great way to remember someone you love.
We are just beginning to build our pollinator habitat at the garden and we need some more native plants. If you don't know where to find native plants, one of the best places to obtain them is Garland is at Rohdes Nursery. Roaches in downtown Garland and Covington's in Rowlett are two other good spots for native plants. For those who live in the Dallas and Richardson area, try Bruce Miller on Beltline; Gecko Hardware in Dallas; and North Haven gardens. NURSERIES THAT SPECIALIZE IN NATIVE PLANTS.
Don't worry it it turns out there are too many plants to install in the garden, there are plenty of local schools in our community that we are helping to establish pollinator habitats. No native plant will be turned away.
3. Donate to the Loving Garland Green Pollinator Fund.
The monies donated to this fund will be used to support our monthly educational activities for children. These events are scheduled to be held the last Saturday of each month (weather permitting) in the garden. In April we hope to feature a program where the students will observe butterfly eggs and caterpillars in addition to creating a life-cycle booklet.
4. Create your own pollinator habitat in your yard.
Come to the Garland Community Garden tomorrow on Saturday March 26, 2016 and we will point you in the right direction.
I HOPE TO SEE YOU TOMORROW IN THE GARDEN!
Below is a photo of some pollinators on a stick that members of Loving Garland Green made last night. As the kiddos listen to a presentation on pollinators, they will be able to color and decorate replicas of these valuable insects. We have a blue swallowtail, a Monarch, a bumblebee, and a butterfly that is left up to the imagination--always an interesting proposition.