National Pollinator Month is celebrated in June. National Pollinator Month began as National Pollinator Week in 2007, as declared by the U.S. Senate. Later, the celebrations were expanded to the whole month. Pollinator Month encourages people to protect pollinators by providing them with the right environment for plant pollination and avoiding the use of pesticides. By protecting pollinators, we can ensure the steady production of food resources. Over the centuries, specific pollinators have developed a special relationship with the plants they pollinate.
Get the whole family involved in the importance of pollination with these hands-on activities. After you read up on the effects of pollination and how people can help, you can teach your kids about it through the power of crafts. These projects are fun, engaging and educational for kids.
For one easy and convenient project, all you need are brown paper bags, different colored sheets of construction paper, glue and the kids’ favorite type of dusty, crunchy, orange snack. First, supervise the kids as they cut out flowers from the construction paper, and then have them glue the flowers to the brown paper bag. Once finished, fill the bag with those crunchy corn snacks, and as the kids munch, orange dust will stick to their fingers like pollen to a bee. This provides a visual lesson to show how pollination works. Plus, it’s the perfect activity to complete inside when the summer afternoons get too hot!
Another project to complete with the family is to create a pollinator garden, which can also be done inside with rich, well-drained soil in containers, or you can make one outside. Weather permitting and space provided, this is a great way to spend a day in the sunshine and fresh air. The best way to attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators to your garden is to grow native flowering plants. Plant in the sun since adult butterflies generally feed only in the sun and plant in groups to attract more pollinators. There are several native plants to Virginia to choose from when deciding what to grow with your little ones. Some that are great for pollinators include wild bergamot, New England asters, butterfly weed, purple coneflower and many more.
Yet another way to enjoy pollinator week is to lace up your walking shoes and visit one of our numerous pollinator demonstration sites, including Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Green Spring Gardens, Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Huntley Meadows Park and more. A fun way to appreciate the visit is to encourage your little ones to be on the lookout for what kinds of pollinators are drawn to specific flowering plants. There’s even a handy activity sheet they can fill out as they explore.
There are many ways to bring awareness to the necessary process of pollination, and there are just as many ways to enjoy yourselves while learning.