On a sunny Sunday in mid-February, Girl Scouts and community members gathered at the Danada House for an educational and interactive program highlighting the importance of local pollinators–bees, birds, and butterflies.
In partnership with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, attendees sat through three mini-presentation diving into the need for preserving the habitats and more of honey bees, monarch butterflies and local hummingbirds.
Afterwards, the presenters from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County lead participants around the presentation space where they set their hands on real local animal pellets, interacted with a decommissioned bee hive, wore distorting glasses to mimic insect eyes and more!
At the end of the program, guests left with local seed packets, silicone straws and the knowledge of how to preserve and protect our local pollinators.
While the local hummingbird population is not as risk for extinction, the honey-bee and monarch butteries are! Some people may think, well that is that important? Here’s why:
- Honey bees are extremely important when it comes to food growth and production, like our favorite fruits, nuts coffee and more! What does this mean? There could be a future without ICE-CREAM SUNDAES! Scary right? The honey bees are very important also in preserving nature. Because they help pollinate plants and trees, they also spread these pollen and seeds to other geographic regions allowing them to grow and reproduce! This means bigger forests = more trees = more oxygen = better for our planet!
- Monarchs, are similar in that they help cross-pollinate plants as well! After they emerge from their cocoon, they greatly contribute to the wealth of our planet. The Monarch Joint Venture says, “The declining monarch population parallels other declining pollinator populations, which in turn impacts human food systems. Similarly, monarchs and other pollinators are part of a natural food web and ecosystem. Providing enough habitat, like milkweed for monarchs, is essential in maintaining a balanced food web within the ecosystems that are critical in sustaining us.”
Help at Home
Here are some ways you can help your local pollinators!
- Plant local flowers and plants. Check out these resources from Garden Illinois and the City of Chicago.
- Monarchs like Milkweed
- Bees prefer blue/purple and yellow plants that are open like sunflowers, cone-flowers and more!
- Hummingbirds like red and yellow cone or bulb shaped flowers for their long beaks
- Avoid chemical pesticides and insecticides around the house and garden.
- Let weeds grow! Yes you hear that right! Bees love clovers and dandelions because they are the first to bloom int he spring and are their best food source after winter hibernation.
- Educate others on the importance of our pollinators!
- Shop locally and organically to help support these awesome planet-helpers!
What’s the Buzz?
Check out these awesome video resources provided by our hosts from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County!
Go Green for Good: Hummingbirds
Go Green for Good: Butterflies
Go Green for Good: Bees
Go Green for Good with Girl Scouts GCNWI!
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