The National Pollinator Network Needs Your Garden

bee on flowerPlant and bee counted!

We’re celebrating National Pollinator Week and need gardeners across the country to join in.

You don’t have to have a large garden; any size garden is an important part of the gardening network to help take care of pollinators like bees, butterflies, birds and even bats.

Every seed orĀ  plant that helps feed our pollinators counts.

In fact, your garden can count even more toward the One Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.

By 2016 we hope there will be at least 1,000,000 pollinator gardens registered at the Pollinator Partnership website.

The One Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is the goal of the brand new National Pollinator Garden Network. The network is a collaboration between more than 20 different conservation organizations, gardening groups and seed companies.

One of the National Pollinator Garden Network organizations is one I’m very familiar with — the National Wildlife Federation. For more than a dozen years my landscape has maintained its status with the organization as a certified backyard habitat.

Some of the other organizations actively involved in the pollinator network include the Pollinator Partnership, the USDA People’s Garden, the Xerces Society, America in Bloom, the American Seed Trade Association, National Garden Bureau and many more.

Your garden can be one in a million by joining the effort to plant for pollinators and then register your garden to be counted.

Why do you need to plant for pollinators? Well, our important pollinators, like honeybees, are in serious trouble. Loss and fragmentation of habitat and use of toxic chemicals, like insecticides and herbicides, are key reasons why bees are threatened.

There are some simple steps you can take to increase the bee population in your garden.

  • Leave a number of dead branches for giant carpenter bees, leaf-cutter bees, and mason bees to nest in.
  • Stop using pesticides in your garden.
  • Make your yard bee-friendly by planning for food, clean water and nesting sites.
  • Select native perennial plants to add to your garden
  • Look for flowering plants that are especially attractive to bees like black-eyed Susan, blanketflower, prairie coneflower, Western wallflower, aster, dianthus, lavender, sage, bee balm, mint and cosmos.

There are more resources available at the Pollinator Partnership website, including more tips for creating a pollinator friendly garden habitat, planting guides and the “Bee Smart Pollinator Gardener” app for Android and iPhone (iPad, iPod) devices.

Please join the growing movement to help our pollinators and register your garden as part of National Pollinator Week!


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