Saturday, July 1, 2017

Do Your Part For Pollinators

HummingbirdPollinator Week may be over, but efforts continue to educate on the global and regional importance of pollinators and to show people what they can do to help.

Events will be going on throughout the summer to educate the public, including lectures by Dr. Christina Grozinger, Director of Penn State University’s Center for Pollinator Research, July 19 at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake and July 20 at View Arts in Old Forge; showings of the film “More Than Honey” about why bees are facing extinction; gardening and beekeeping workshops and opportunities for learning to identify and monitor pollinators. See a calendar of events here.

The partners involved in the Adirondack Pollinator Project — ADKAction, The Wild Center, Lake Placid Land Conservancy, and Common Ground Gardens — are encouraging citizens to do their part as well.

We asked Simon Schreier, Interpretive Programs Coordinator for the Wild Center, for some simple ways we as individuals can help.

Start by planting pollinator-friendly, native plants, he says.

“Pollinators depend on flowers as sources for sugar-rich nectar and protein-rich pollen,” Schreier says. “For people in the Adirondacks, they can obtain a pollinator seed packet from any of the Adirondack Pollinator Project partner organizations.”

The packets contain flowers native to the Adirondacks, including red milkweed, butterfly weed, New England aster, multi cornflower, Siberian wallflower, Shasta daisy, lance-leaf coreopsis, plains coreopsis, wild cosmos, Sulphur cosmos, giant larkspur, sweet William, purple coneflower, orange poppy, blanket flower, baby’s breath, wild sunflower, perennial sunflower, blazing star, blue flax, scarlet flax and perennial lupine.

Next, Schreier suggests reducing or eliminating pesticide use in your landscape. Application of pesticides can harm non-target species.

Commit to no-mow for as much of your garden as you can. Mowing destroys flowering structures and habitat. Aiming for one-third no-mow is a reasonable target, he says.

Leave dead tree trunks (called snags) on your property when possible. Many pollinators make their homes in these structures.

And support land conservation. “Wild habitats support wild pollinators,” Schreier says.

Photo of ruby-throated hummingbird by Larry Master

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Tracy Ormsbee is the publisher of the Adirondack Explorer. When she’s not working – and it’s not black fly season – you can find her outdoors hiking, running, paddle boarding or reading a book on an Adirondack chair somewhere.

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