Celebrating Nebraska Pollinator Week
Many people think of bees and butterflies when they hear about pollinators, however, Nebraska has many other important pollinating insects including flies, beetles, and moths. These insects fly from flower to flower, which transfers pollen grains from the male part of the plant to the female part of the plant of the same species. This allows germination and fertilization.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 1 in 3 bites of food requires an insect or small mammal to pollinate plants for production. Some of these foods are grown in Nebraska such as apples, cherries, pumpkins, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, grapes, and melons. Even chocolate and coffee require pollination from flies and stingless bees.
In honor of the role pollinators play in Nebraska’s economy and ecosystems, Governor Pete Ricketts has proclaimed June 22-28 as Nebraska Pollinator Week. Virtual events will be hosted throughout the week, and Nebraskans can join the Nebraska Pollinator Week 2020 Challenge by taking part in the national Citizen Science program. To enter the challenge, visit nebraskapollinatorweek.org and complete the commitment form. Participants will be sent a package of pollinator resources. Participants then should head outside to look for pollinators and enter at least five species they find on iNaturalist, a web-based citizen science program.
Another way to take part is by planting pollinator-friendly gardens and installing pollinator feeders. Adding native and flowering plants that bloom from spring through fall are most beneficial for pollinators. Native plants are important to include because they have pollen and nectar sources for native pollinators. Providing habitat for pollinators also ensures that our native ecosystems will remain healthy and productive. For a list of plants for Nebraska’s pollinators visit the Nebraska Extension website at https://lancaster.unl.edu/hort/landscape/pollinatorplants.shtml.
The Central Platte NRD is providing 50 free pollinator feeder kits to the public. These kits include a feeder, nectar, pollinator information, and educational activities. The kits are available at the NRD office located at 215 Kaufman Ave in Grand Island, NE. To reserve your kit, contact Marcia Lee at (308) 385-6282 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Native grassland and pollinator habitat conservation are vital to agriculture and to Nebraska wildlife. If you’re one of the thousands of folks who have visited the Natural Resources building at Husker Harvest Days, you may have picked up a packet of the Native Prairie or Pollinators seed from the NRDs. If you received and planted some of our native prairie or pollinator seed, we need you to show off your hard work!
Central Platte NRD has created a special website to upload pictures of your planting for this project. Simply click on the map, insert a pin, upload your prairie photo…and show your stuff! GO TO WEBSITE The website also allows you to place a “pin” on the map to show where you have grown your native prairie or pollinator habitat. It would be amazing if we can fill up the state with “pins” and pictures showing the extent of everyone’s efforts.
In 2008, CPNRD began conducting the Native Prairie Outreach Project at Husker Harvest days, distributing native prairie seed packets and educational materials to approximately 1,500 people annually including approximately 300 packets of seed totaling 11 acres worth of restored prairie are handed out. Visitors to the booth are also given information on native plant propagation and patch-burn grazing systems. The event is sponsored by CPNRD, other NRDs, with assistance from the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts.
If you have any questions about the native seed project or the website call David Carr at (308) 385 -6282 or email email@example.com.
Click on the videos below for habitat conservation information.
|Importance of Milkweed Habitat|
|Hand Harvesting Wildflower Seeds|
|The Foundation of Habitat Success|
|Creating Bare Ground|
|Controlling Invasive Trees|
|Emerald Ash Borer|
|Importance of Bare Ground for Native Bees|
|Importance of Milkweed Habitat|