Pollinator populations have plummeted in recent years, for a variety of reasons. Responding to a call to action by President Barack Obama, the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is a national effort to reverse that trend by promoting the gardens and landscapes needed by pollinators for food, water and safe haven.
Launched in June by the National Pollinator Garden Network, the challenge draws on citizens, action groups, businesses and government bodies to identify and register one million habitats by the end of 2016. Anyone can contribute, at any level, from home window boxes to school gardens to corporate campuses.
Sarasota County, through UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County and Keep Sarasota County Beautiful, has joined the challenge, registering pollinator habitats in parks, at libraries, on roadway medians and more, with plans to plant more.
UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County will help area gardeners “Bee Aware,” offering free classes on topics from pollinator-friendly plants to pesticide safety, with some classes offering free seeds and starter plants for gardens. Learn more at sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu.
Join the challenge by registering your garden at share.pollinator.org, and view a map of other gardens in the county, state and around the world. Then, tell everyone about your good work with the #polliNATION social media tag.