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Celebrate National Pollinator Week!

June 24, 2020

Did you know that pollinators are responsible for pollinating 75% of our food crops and flowering plants but populations are in decline.  This week take a moment to stop and smell the flowers – hopefully plant a few too – and appreciate the work of the pollinators.

2020 marks the 13th year since the US Senate designated the week of June 22 National Pollinator Week. This celebratory week is dedicated to creating awareness about the essential pollinators that we find everyday within our gardens, orchards, and natural landscapes.

VIKA Maryland, LLC is committed to creating environments that allow pollinators to flourish. Our landscape architects, scientists, and arborists conduct analyses to assess how plant life can be preserved and design landscapes that enhance contributions to ecological services and aesthetic beauty.  All these efforts result in great spaces that support sustainable communities.  With us at your side or on your own – you can do something to help too!

How can I help the pollinators?

Pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, beetles, moths, and even bats deliver pollen from plant to plant. The transfer of pollen enables fertilization and growth of new plants.  You can learn more about how we can support these essential creatures, so they can continue supporting life on earth.

Step One: Add specific trees and shrubs to your garden

According to Natural Resources Conservation Service, adding specific shrubs and trees can provide pollen and nectar, “in your landscape. Shrubs and trees such as dogwood, blueberry, cherry, plum, willow, and poplar [especially] early in spring when food is scarce.”  Numerous milkweeds, asters, salvias, and coneflowers also provide significant benefits.  Find out what is best in your area.

Step Two: Reduce or eliminate pesticides

It is also recommended by the Natural Resources Conservation Service to “Reduce or eliminate pesticide use in your landscape or incorporate plants that attract beneficial insects for pest control. If you use pesticides, use them sparingly and responsibly.”

Step Three: Provide A Water Source

If you add a shallow dish of water, it will give the pollinators a chance to perch while they drink. This will also increase the number of pollinators that visit your garden.

Step Four: Variety is Key!

According to University of Maryland of Agriculture & Natural Resources it is recommended to choose a wide variety of plants. Choose plants with various shapes, sizes, and colors – these typically attract different species and can lengthen seasonal interest.

Step Five: Reach Out to Your Elected Leaders

If this is a cause that is near and dear to you, please take a moment to reach out to your state officials. The Pollinator Partnership has a sample letter on their website and a suggested script to help move this wonderful proclamation forward!

https://www.pollinator.org/pollinator-week

Sources:

Nrcs.usda.gov. 2020. How gardeners Can Help Pollinators/NRCS. Available at: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/plantsanimals/pollinate/gardeners/

Extension.umd.edu. 2020. What Can I Do To Help Pollinators? | University Of Maryland Extension. Available at: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/what-can-i-do-help-pollinators