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by Dana Harkrider
You may not know what a pollinator is, but you’ve definitely felt their effects. Pollinators are species that move pollen around from plant to plant, enabling that plant to reproduce. There are 200,000 different species of pollinators in the world–they include butterflies, birds, bees, moths, beetles, flies, ants, bats, even some amphibians.
Pollination is a crucial ecological service, not only for many agricultural crops, but for the vast majority of all flowering plants. Although there are some plants that rely on wind or water to transfer pollen, about 90% of all plant species need pollinators for this task.
Unfortunately, pollinators are currently in crisis. A myriad of issues, such as habitat loss, fragmentation, lack of forage, widespread pesticide use, pollution, and climate change, have all contributed to massive declines in population of many pollinator species.
But all is not yet lost! Now more than ever, the ability to help pollinators, the power to effect ecological change, is in our hands as gardeners and homeowners. We can take action immediately to help pollinator species by making small but significant changes in our own yards. One such change is to begin looking at your property as a potential stop on the Pollinator Pathway.
Pollinator pathways are corridors of public and private properties that provide native plant habitat and nutrition for pollinators. They’re designed to connect pollinator species in developed areas with the resources that they rely on to survive. Pollinator pathways are worldwide ecological initiatives created with the intent of enabling pollinators that have a more limited flight range, such as certain native bees who may only travel a few hundred feet, to be able to reach the resources they need to live.
Now, a Pollinator Pathway has begun here in Nyack. The Nyack Pollinator Pathway broke ground last fall with the planting of four garden beds along Main Street in downtown Nyack, as well as another bed by the Community Garden along Franklin and Depew, with native, pollinator-friendly, perennial plants providing all-season-long nutrition for pollinators. Find out more about us here and read our previous Nyack News & Views article.
We’d love to invite any and all community residents to join Nyack’s Pollinator Pathway! Find out how your property can be a stop on the Pathway by attending our virtual presentation, “(Un)Paving the Way: The How and Why of Pollinator Pathways,” through the Nyack Library on Thursday, April 23rd at 7p. Please register in advance here to receive the Zoom meeting invitation. Alternatively, call 845-358-3370 ext. 214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. The library is checking messages. Hope to e-see you on the 23rd!
Dana Harkrider is a beekeeper living in Nyack.
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Earth Matters focuses on conservation, sustainability, recycling and healthy living. This weekly series is brought to you by Maria Luisa Boutique.