Friday, June 19, 2020

Operation Pollinator Rescue 

Pollinators are vital to creating and maintaining the habitats and ecosystems many animals rely on for food and shelter. 

Over half of the diets of fats and oils come from crops pollinated worldwide by pollinators alone and facilitate the reproduction in 90 percent of the world’s flowering plants.  Pollinators are needed in the production of over 130 different human food crops and are responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat and beverages we drink. 

A world without pollinators would be devastating.  As nature lovers and educators, the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge (in Wilmington) and SkyLyfeADK are collaborating to implement an extensive pollinator project named Operation Pollinator Rescue. 

The objective of this project is to educate the public on the global importance of our suffering pollinators.  Through leadership and education, we hope to build a love for some of the world’s most important creatures.  We will offer an array of fun and interactive programs developed to share in the amazing lives of pollinators.

Join us for our weekly pollinator adventure. This year we will feature a butterfly house with a small admission fee, where visitors can have an up-close view of all stages of butterfly life. These proceeds will help us further our conservation efforts. Grand opening for the butterfly house will be announced in the near future and will continue every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout the Summer. We also reach out to make a positive impact on local pollinator populations as well as replacing vital habitat that support pollinators here in the Adirondacks.  

Our pollinator project initiatives are to save at least 1,500 monarchs from habitat destruction and release healthy butterflies weekly back into the dwindling wild population.  We will be replacing lost habitat through the planting of beds with wild flowers that provide a large nectar source along with 50,000 milkweeds seeds.  We would like to invite the public to join us in planting the milkweed seeds during there visit in our butterfly sanctuary that provides food and shelter for many pollinators.  Seed Packets will be available on site this summer.  These plants help to build a chain of gardens north to south for migrating pollinators and makes a drastic difference in how many pollinators make the full journey south.

We will be part of a disease monitoring system that contains scientific data on local populations, climate and disease statistics.  We will be registering as a Monarch waystation and will tag at least 200 Monarchs to help track the location in which monarchs from the Adirondacks choose for a winter resting ground.  We will also have available native bee habitats to get the public involved in boosting local populations. 

SkyLyfeADK partners with Monarch Watch and The National Federation of Wildlife to share vital statistical data pertaining to Lepidoptera.  As professionals, it is our hope to combine our efforts with the public through education and a personal experience in conservation by implementing two Monarch adoption opportunities.  You can learn more about our Adoption Programs on  If you’re interested in adopting a Monarch this summer and contributing in replacing the dwindling population, you can e-mail us at  We will be happy to send you more information on how you can adopt and release your own Monarch this year. 

Last year, thanks to the love and efforts of the public, an additional 293 healthy Monarchs were released back to nature by individuals.

Take a little time this season to visit the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and SkyLyfeADK and be part of making a real change.

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Jackie Woodcock was born and lives in the Adirondack Mountains. She is an apiarist, lepidopterist, conservationist, teacher, writer, artist, and a co-owner of SkyLyfeADK. You can find her SkyLyfeADK on Instagram and Facebook.

6 Responses

  1. Laura Dikovsky Smith says:

    Love to see this partnering for pollinators. I hope you will be including educating folks abt the need to encourage native bees & that the european honeybee is actually an introduced species that has impacted our native bees. I have seen a great resurgence in native bees since the great decline in the honeybees. Good luck w/this program!

  2. Charlie S says:

    I have become aware of the non presence of butterflies this year, whether they be monarchs, cabbage, swallowtails…. I am not always looking out for them and so I have wondered if that is why I don’t see any, but then after that thought strikes me (a lack of butterflies) I look around the area where I am and sure enough….hardly any butterflies, if any at all. This is not normal. I was in the Cooperstown area on the 5th of this month. Otsego County is a vast haven of open space with flowers blooming galore in many places, and few if any butterflies.This cannot be good!

  3. Boreas says:


    Cold spring weather may have been an issue. I am seeing fairly normal numbers around my place. I will be able to tell better once more of my summer flowers bloom. I have been seeing plenty of bees (other than honeybees). I just bought several plants from the Pollinator Project to add to my pollinator garden. Hopefully they will survive the drought.

  4. Charlie S says:

    It’s good to see positive news on butterflies in your area Boreas, but things aren’t normal that’s for sure. Plenty of bees you say! I’ve been reading some negative reports about their numbers declining nonetheless. We should start taking down subdivisions and replace them with flower fields forever. Wouldn’t that be brilliant! Better yet let us leave the remaining fields as they are!!

    • Boreas says:


      When I say “plenty of bees”, I mean around my house – anecdotal at best. But bumblebees have supplanted honeybees – rare to see one of those. Same with bats. It seems flying insect populations of all sorts are being effected by “something”. Good luck getting the government to get any neutral studies done, or believing them if/when completed. Big Chemical keeps them in office.

      I believe the single best thing we could do around the world is simply to turn our freeway dividers and berms into pollinator and wildflower gardens. Unfortunately, many critters would wind up in our grills and on our windshields – but it would likely still have a net beneficial effect.

  5. Charlie S says:

    “It seems flying insect populations of all sorts are being effected by “something.”

    Yes…observant of you! But what could it be? I know the answer to that but I’m not the one who has the power to change things, to steer us in a different direction. The only one’s that can steer us in a different direction are our lawmakers but they’re too busy feeding the rich and stuffing their own wallets……………. At the very least we’re doing something majorly wrong but do you think we’ll stop what some call progress, or economic gain? I would wager nine-tenths of the population do not even notice that there are less butterflies and bees. I’d bet that they don’t even care!

    Yesterday, in light of my recent awareness of seeing less butterflies, or none, I paid attention as I drove around just to verify my suspicions and everywhere I looked I saw zero butterflies, which is not to say there were none, surely there were one or two nearby, but the norm used to be that butterflies were ever present, you couldn’t help but notice them even if you weren’t looking for them. To think that future generations might not ever know what a butterfly looks like….in real time. Or a bee! How about firefly’s! When I was a boy my neighborhood on Long Island lit up with them at night. Surely observant people my age could say the same about their neighborhoods also. You just don’t see them lightning bugs anymore! It is very sad what we are doing Boreas! But then we’re used to this by now aren’t we?

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