Over 150 people attended our public panel on pollinators, held January 22 in Champaign! We were thrilled by the turnout and the resounding public interest in helping our pollinator friends. Special thanks to our partners at the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District and University of Illinois Extension for helping make this event possible. We would also like to thank our guest panelists, who did an outstanding job describing the current status of pollinators and what the public can do to help them.
The most important take-home message from the panel is that pollinators need safe habitats and food to be healthy. In Illinois, pollinators are faced with a largely unfriendly, unpalatable environment dominated by corn, soybeans, turfgrass, and asphalt. Pollinators need flowering forbs, shrubs, and trees. Different pollinators have different needs, and just like people, pollinators benefit from a diverse diet. Therefore, plant diversity is key to creating good pollinator habitat.
Any landowner can help pollinators by adding flowering plants to their properties. Even a small flower bed can be a significant contribution. The more people who do something, the greater our collective impact! For ideas about what to plant, visit Extension’s website on pollinator pockets. Rain gardens can also be designed to attract pollinators; visit our rain garden page for more information!
Finally, if you missed the panel, you can watch it below – thanks, UPTV, for making this possible!