News to Use Podcast Transcript: June 29, 2011
Good day, and welcome to the Fairfax County News to Use podcast for June
29, 2011.Coming up, learn about the library’s summer reading program, how
to become a pollinator promoter and protector, find out about the Disease
Carrying Insects program and Fairfax County’s farmers markets. Links to
topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Statistics have shown that reading during the summer can help students
retain their reading skills. By the end of sixth grade, children who lose
reading skills over the summer can be two years behind their classmates.
Fairfax County Public Library’s
Summer Reading Program is under way through Sept. 3. Students can
register online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library
or in library branches. Participants who read the required number of
books by Sept. 3 will receive a booklet filled with coupons from local
merchants and organizations. Kids can read any books they choose and
reading suggestions can be found on the library’s website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library. Last year more than
47,000 children participated in the summer reading program.
Imagine a world without coffee or chocolate! Pollinators like birds,
bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, moths and bats fertilize blueberries,
squash and almonds and many beautiful flowering plants. We may not notice
the hummingbirds, beetles and flies that carry pollen from one plant to
another but without them we would not survive and we would miss many
foods essential to our health and enjoyment.
The most recognized pollinator is the bee, which has adapted itself to
carry pollen from plant to plant, fertilizing along the way. These
hard-working insects help pollinate more than 75 percent of flowering
plants and crops.
Gardeners can be “pollinator promoters and protectors” by making their
yards a better habitat for native pollinators. Attract pollinators to
your flower and vegetable gardens by installing a variety of native
plants, which grow well in this climate and soil. Such indigenous plants
also permit rain water infiltration and prevent polluted stormwater
runoff from entering streams. A 4 by 8 foot or 10 by 10 foot pollinator
garden provides plenty of opportunity for cross-fertilization without the
work and expense of managing an extensive lawn.
Pollinators need shelter, food, water and space to raise their young.
You can satisfy all of these needs in simple and economical ways: leave a
few branches or dead wood in your yard for shelter; place a small plate
of fresh-cut fruit in the shade every other day for food; keep fresh
water in a birdbath; leave some patches of bare ground in your yard for
nesting bees. Plant a variety of flowers and watch the succession of
blooms throughout the growing season attract native pollinators. And most
important, use lemon balm, lavender and marigolds instead of pesticides.
Many bugs are beneficial to your garden. Let them flourish!
For more information about native pollinators, call the Stormwater
Management Team at 703-324-5500.
Meanwhile, the bite of an infected mosquito, tick or other disease
carrying insect may result in a life-changing illness, such as West Nile
virus or Lyme disease. The Fairfax
County Health Department’s Disease Carrying Insect Program works to
minimize the threat of insect-borne diseases. For details, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fightthebite.
Finally, don’t forget Fairfax County’s 12 farmers markets, full of
freshly picked fruits and vegetables, flowers, fresh baked breads and
pastries and creamy artisan cheese. Fairfax County Farmers Markets are
local, producer-only markets. For details, call 703-642-0128, or visit
the Park Authority online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/.
That’s all for this News to Use podcast. Thanks for listening. For more information about the topics in this podcast and for continuous news updates, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news. You may also call 703-FAIRFAX, that’s 703-324-7329, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. News to Use is produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia, government.