The Walton County Master Gardeners are hosting a Pollinator Census and Family Fun Day Saturday, Aug. 19, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Friendship Park Pollinator Sanctuary in Social Circle.
In August 2023, Georgia citizens will participate in the fifth Great Southeast Pollinator Census to document our pollinator populations. Anyone can participate in this important initiative. Families, school groups, scouts, garden clubs, 4-H groups, individuals – everyone! You don’t have to be an entomologist to participate and you don’t have to have any special tools!
The Great Pollinator Census began as a pilot project in Georgia in 2017 and became a statewide project in 2019, with over 4,000 people participating. In 2022, South Carolina joined through the efforts of Clemson University, and 8,671 participated. This year, North Carolina will join through North Carolina A&T.
Headed by Becky Griffin, UGA Community & School Garden Coordinator, Pollinator Health Associate and Georgia Certified Beekeeper, the Great Georgia Pollinator Census is web-based and full of information. The goals are to create sustainable pollinator habitats, increase insect knowledge and generate useful data.
At ggapc.org, you can find census data from 2019-2022, as well as resources for individuals, educators and businesses. On the days of the census, the home page will become a portal to upload your counts. There is also a Spanish version available. Participants will be counting pollinator insects that land on a favorite flowering plant for 15 minutes and tally the number of insects that fall in to these categories:
- Carpenter Bees,
- Bumble Bees,
- Honey Bees,
- Small Bees,
- Flies, Butterflies and
- Moths, and Other Insects.
You can visit our blog at www.waltonMasterGardeners.com to see more detail.
Why all the buzz about pollinators?
According to the USDA, over 75% of staple crop plants that feed humankind depend on pollinators to reproduce. In the United States alone, pollination of agricultural crops is valued at 10 billion dollars annually. Do you and your family want to participate in the census and become citizen scientists? The Walton County Master Gardeners will be on site at the Friendship Park Pollinator Sanctuary Garden on Aug. 19 from 9 a.m. until to noon, where we’ll be happy to provide all the data collection tools and tutorials you’ll need to make your counts. Bring the whole family and earn your Citizen Scientist Badges at our Pollinator Stations, which include:
- Pollinators Up Close,
- Bubble Station,
- Face Painting,
- Honey Bee Booth and honey tasting,
- Making Seed Bombs,
- Pollinator Toss, and
- a Chalk Walk along the Pollinator Pathway.