The 11th annual Pollinator Week kicked off nationwide on June 19, 2017. This celebration is hosted by the Pollinator Partnership, a diverse group of government, business, and educational partners that work to promote the health of pollinators, which are critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research.
Pollinating animals include bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, and others that are vital to the well-being of our planet and to human health. These animals transfer pollen necessary for seed and fruit production, but their contributions don’t stop there! Pollinated plants help clean the air, support wildlife, contribute to our food supply, and provide essential medicines. The pollinator role in plant reproduction contributes billions of dollars to the economy.
Due to stressors such as habitat loss, invasive species, and chemical misuse, however, these hard-working animals are in trouble. “The Natchez Trace Parkway recognizes the need to protect and restore native pollinator habitat,” stated Chief of Resource Management Dr. Lisa McInnis. “Last year, through the help of dedicated volunteers and staff, we planted hundreds of important pollinator plant species as part of a prairie preservation project.” Working with local partners such as Mississippi State University, the Parkway plans to continue with projects that improve pollinator habitat.
“Pollinator Week is an opportunity to share the importance of pollinators,” said Superintendent Mary Risser. “Anyone can get involved with the week’s events in their local community through businesses, garden clubs, offices, schools, parks, community groups, museums, families, and individuals. Those interested in volunteering for the Pollinator Partnership can visit pollinator.org/volunteer.htm to sign up.”
For additional information about the Parkway, please call (800) 305-7417.