RESTON, VA — Gardeners, homeowners, businesses and conservation advocates are showing how individuals working together can support the recovery of pollinators and America’s wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation heralds these pollinator champions —participants creating Certified Wildlife Habitats®, and Schoolyard Habitats, Butterfly Heroes™ planting milkweed gardens, and communities providing Trees for Wildlife® — and urges others to join in during National Pollinator Week from June 17-23.
“Urban and suburban development is encroaching on the pollinator habitat by a million acres a year. In the meantime, significant species like the rusty patch bumble bee and the monarch butterfly continue to decline,” said Mary Phillips, National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife senior director and National Pollinator Garden Network co-founder. “Efforts like National Wildlife Federation’s engagement in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge have amplified awareness leading to local, state, and national change, including 110 pollinator friendly laws.”
A recent UN biodiversity report estimates that up to 1 million animal and plant species, including pollinators as well as the plants they rely upon, are at risk of extinction in the coming decades due to human activity.
Through the National Pollinator Garden Network, National Wildlife Federation and other co-founding organizations have identified 8 million people across the United States who have planted and registered more than 1 million pollinator gardens in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge in the past three years. Out of these 1 million plus gardens, National Wildlife Federation’s participants contributed approximately one third. Today, 481 mayors have signed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors Monarch Pledge in North America alone. The Federation also worked with other conservation groups on the 2018 Farm Bill, to include policies that benefit wildlife and pollinator grassland habitat.
National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages all Americans to keep pollinators in mind when gardening. A simple way of doing this is by thinking in three’s, and planting a minimum of three varieties of blooming nectar plants across three seasons: spring, summer, and fall.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.