FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2015
Contact: Diane HinesClaudia Farren(850) 656-7113
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Launched to Reverse Decline of Pollinators The Florida Wildlife Federation is adding its support to the National Wildlife Federation and dozens of conservation and gardening organizations as well as seed groups that have formed the National Pollinator Garden Network.
At the White House yesterday Michelle Obama and the National Pollinator Garden Network launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, “a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of pollinators.” During the announcement Mrs. Obama asked one of the children participating in a harvest of the White House Kitchen Garden, “What do pollinators do?” The young man said, “They spread pollen around.” Pollinators are essential for a healthy ecosystem and for productive agriculture. By spreading pollen around they fertilize plants resulting in seeds and fruits.
Pollinators are responsible for 1 out of 3 bites of food we take each day, and yet pollinators are in decline due to loss of habitat, disease, pesticide use, changing weather patterns and other factors. By all of us working together we can help to revive the health of honeybees, native bees, beetles, butterflies – including the monarch, hummingbirds, certain bats and other pollinators across America.
What you can do to help pollinators: 1.
Plant a pollinator garden at your home, local school or community park of native flowering plants with blooms of varying shapes, colors, and sizes. Include something that blooms every month. 2.
Plant native host and nectar plants for butterflies from the aster family, pea family, various passion vines, and the milkweed family. Some of Florida’s native milkweed host plants for monarch butterflies include: Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed), A. perennis (aquatic milkweed), and A. tuberosa (butterfly weed). 3.
Create a healthy habitat. Don’t use pesticides and herbicides. 4.
Provide nesting sites with bundles of hollow plant stems or PVC pipe in a sheltered area of your garden. Make a brush pile in your yard and leave old tree stumps and dead trees on your property. 5.
Provide a water source. For butterflies and bees place rocks or sand in a bird-bath bowl that is placed on the ground. 6.
Support businesses that support pollinators. Purchase plants and seeds from nurseries and garden centers suited to your area and who offer pollinator-friendly plants. Please note: There is new evidence that Tropical Milkweed can cause a disease that harms monarch butterflies. We suggest you buy another milkweed variety native to your region. 7.
Sponsor or attend a pollinator workshop in your area. 8.
Spread the word! Tell your neighbors, friends and family. Ask them to join the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. 9.
Get involved. Certify your habitat with the National Wildlife Federation. Learn more about certifying backyard habitat for pollinators and the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. Then certify your habitat at: http://www.nwf.org/CertifiedWildlifeHabitat/UserAccount/SignIn?campaignid =WH15FSW&s_subsrc=Web_Sidebar_CWH_Pollinators_MPGC "The Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) is working with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to increase the numbers of wildlife habitats established and certified in the next few months to further the goal of reaching the numbers needed for success in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge," Pat Pearson, Florida Wildlife Federation Habitat Coordinator.