Create a Place for Pollinators

Have you thanked a pollinator today? If you've taken a bite of apple, enjoyed a piece of chocolate, sat in the shade of a tree, or stopped to smell the flowers, you've benefited from pollination!

According to the Pollinator Partnership, between 75-95% of all flowering plants depend on pollinators—hummingbirds, bats, beetles, bees, ants, wasps, moths, butterflies, and other small animals that help plants reproduce by transporting pollen within a flower or between flowers, resulting in healthy fruits and fertile seeds. Pollinators are keystone species; this means that many other species of plants and animals rely on creatures for their own survival. Humans are part of this pollinator-dependent group—for instance, some of the foods grown in the United States such as alfalfa, apples, blueberries, and strawberries rely on honey bees and native bees for pollination. When these animal pollinator populations are healthy, it can lead to larger fruit and better quality yield from plants, increasing agricultural production and improving the food source for many other wildlife species. Despite this important work, many pollinator populations are in decline due to loss of habitat for feeding and nesting. Pesticides, disease, and climate change can also harm pollinator populations or force them to move to different areas.

The good news is that YOU can help by creating pollinator-friendly habitat. Use this activity guide to learn about the pollinators where you live, find out which plants they depend on, and create pollinator-friendly habitat.  

Take a Pollinator Walk

Take a walk around your backyard, schoolyard, or neighborhood. Look closely at the trees, shrubs, plants, flowers—even small patches of grass. Snap photos or sketch the insects and animals you spot, and use the websites below to help you identify your local pollinators.  

Investigate Native Plants

Native plants are adapted to local climate, soil, and pollinator species. Healthy pollinator populations depend on native plants for food, habitat, and nesting. Research native plants where you live. If you were planting a garden for the pollinators you found in your backyard, schoolyard, or neighborhood, which plants would you choose? Use the guides below to help you plan your garden.

Create a Place for Pollinators

Use the information you collected about local pollinators and native plants to create pollinator habitat. There are projects you can do whether you have lots of outdoor space or just a little.

No space? No problem! Put your observation skills to work. Join Bumble Bee Watch to help scientists track North American bee populations. Or, report monarch butterfly sightings to help scientists track their migration.