August 21, 2019

Raising awareness for the pollinator crisis

By Michele White, Conservation Program Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

In June, we announced our launch of the Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz campaign with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation to raise awareness and community involvement in the pollinator crisis. This BioBlitz campaign is part of ScottsMiracle-Gro’s Gro More Good commitment to connect 10 million children to the benefits of gardens and greenspaces by 2023, and more specifically, to promote pollinator education and protection to America’s youngest generation of gardeners.

National BioBlitz events

The Parks for Pollinators campaign focuses on raising public awareness of the current pollinator crisis, encouraging local action and positioning parks as a national leader in advancing pollinator health. This year, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) hosted its first ever national BioBlitz with support from The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. A BioBlitz event is comprised of park staff, community members, families and children working together to create a literal snapshot of the variety of life that can be found in their local parks and open spaces. The initiative utilizes the iNaturalist platform, which participants can download on a smart device and use to take pictures of pollinators and other wildlife. The results increase awareness of pollinators nationally and help park and recreation agencies know what pollinator species are in their parks and help them plan for how to protect them.

Taking action for pollinators

Over 180 individuals pledged to help pollinators and downloaded information on how to host a BioBlitz. Events were organized from coast to coast, with 21 states represented and a total of 43 park and recreation agencies participating. These groups recorded over 5,000 observations, documenting nearly 1,500 different species of both pollinators and pollinator-supporting plants. More than 500 people participated in the national BioBlitz to record these findings and 523 experts helped identify the findings using iNaturalist. You can check out the results here to see what pollinators were found near you!

Learn more about the Gro More Good initiative.

Repurposed with permission from NRPA’s Open Space blog, Copyright 2019 by the National Recreation and Park Association.