3-minute read | By Michele White, Program Manager for the National Recreation and Park Association
If you are a pollinator lover like me, September is going to be an exciting month. Why? Well, in September, parks in communities around the country will be hosting BioBlitz events where park staff and community members come together to support and celebrate the variety of pollinators and plants in their area. Parks are hosting BioBlitz events as a way to find and better understand the number of pollinators––and pollinator-friendly plants––in their communities.
Thanks to our partnership with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz campaign is now in its second year and is quickly gaining popularity all over the country.
Due to COVID-19, we are hosting the BioBlitz in September instead of June this year. With social distancing in mind, we and park agencies are encouraging communities to participate in their BioBlitz virtually using the iNaturalist mobile app, which allows for everyone to record and learn about pollinators right in the palm of their hand. Participants can also use the app to take pictures of biodiversity they come across in the park – animals, plants, insects, etc. Additionally, users can have their photos automatically uploaded to an international database for scientific research. This database provides local park and recreation agencies with useful data to help understand the biodiversity in their own communities.
The role we play in our communities to ensure pollinators are safe and thriving cannot be understated. ScottsMiracle-Gro’s purpose to GroMoreGood everywhere supports this role, as it is the belief that we all have a responsibility to do good together in our communities and for our planet. Their support and partnership has played an essential part in advancing our mutual goals of supporting pollinators in parks and communities across the country. In the past three years, their support has helped us:
- Better understand the public perception of pollinators
- Determine actions people can take to support pollinators and their local parks
- Support pollinator habitat and education in both Columbus, Ohio, and Dallas, Texas
- Build participation in our annual Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz to over 500 people from 21 states––with new groups signing up daily for this year’s event.
Interested in participating in a BioBlitz this month? Learn more about how ScottsMiracle-Gro and the NRPA are supporting pollinator habitats here. To find a local BioBlitz nearest you, visit inaturalist.org/projects/parks-for-pollinators-2020.