New coalition aims to plant 1 million pollinator gardens

By Agri-Pulse staff

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WASHINGTON, June 4, 2015-- Dozens of conservation and gardening organizations have joined together to form the National Pollinator Garden Network while issuing a challenge to the nation to plant 1 million additional pollinator gardens by the end of 2016.

As part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, the Network pledged to provide resources for individuals, community groups, government agencies and the garden industry to create more pollinator habitat through sustainable gardening practices and conservation efforts.

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Collin O'Mara, CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said by joining together, communities, farmers and government agencies “can ensure that every American child has a chance to enjoy the beauty of creatures like bees, monarch butterflies, and hummingbirds.”

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In a news release, the Network said it is launching the challenge in support of President Barack Obama's plan to reverse the decline of pollinating insects such as honey bees and monarch butterflies. Representatives of the Network joined first lady Michelle Obama Wednesday at the White House garden, which includes a section dedicated to support pollinators, to formally launch the Challenge.

“Bees are vital in seed and agriculture production, as well as general ecosystem health, and ensuring their wellbeing is a priority,” said Andrew LaVigne, CEO of the American Seed Trade Association. 

The National Pollinator Garden Network collectively represents nearly one million active gardeners and 15,000 schoolyard gardens. To see a full list of the partner organizations in the National Pollinator Garden Network, click here.

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