Bloomington, Ill. (February 18, 2021) – 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 sixth year of the program, open to 4-H clubs, Ag in the Classroom groups, and FFA chapters in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Groups who previously participated in the program have been automatically re-enrolled.
Organizations 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 county fairgrounds, or any visible location. GROWMARK will provide enough seed to plant approximately a 700 square foot area, as well as educational signage to be placed around the garden.
“Nearly 200 youth organizations have been part of the program since 2016,” said Karen Jones, GROWMARK Youth and Young Producer 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 12, 2021.