Honey bees and other pollinators play an important role in the agricultural ecosystem. These same pollinators are under stress from a number of factors: pests, disease, lack of habitat, and more. The GROWMARK System would like to help 4-H clubs do their part to help sustain and increase honey bee populations.
This is the second year of the program, open to 4-H clubs in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Clubs who participated in the program last year have been automatically re-enrolled in the program.
Clubs are asked to locate a public place and secure permission to plant a pollinator garden prior to filling out an application. This could be in a park, near a school, along a well-traveled road, at the fairgrounds, or any visible location. GROWMARK will provide enough seed to plant a 700 square foot area, as well as educational signage to be placed around the garden.
"Last year, we had nearly 40 clubs participating in the program," said Karen Jones, GROWMARK Youth and Cooperative Education Specialist. "Growing the number of pollinator gardens this year will help provide even more habitat for bees and other beneficial pollinator species."
Clubs wishing to participate should fill out the online application by March 31, 2017. Questions may be directed to Karen Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-557-6184.