June is National Pollinator Month, making it the perfect time for kids to learn about pollinators, the key role they play in ecosystem and garden health and why we should care about their well-being. KidsGardening.org, a national nonprofit and leader in the youth gardening movement in conjunction with Little Seeds Kids and Wyman’s, are excited to celebrate National Pollinator Month (and Week!) with a wide range of resources, including a new grant opportunity. KidsGardening will also spearhead engaging activities, a fun giveaway and educational materials for families, educators and youth organizations to learn about pollinators.
Why care about pollinators? Not only are they critical for the health of ecosystems, they’re also needed to produce many of our favorite foods, including apples, cucumbers, zucchini, almonds and strawberries, which come from flowers after they’ve been pollinated. Pollinators are also needed to produce many of our food plants that are grown from seed, because without pollination the plants can’t produce the seeds needed to grow more plants. It’s estimated that one out of every three mouthfuls we eat depends on pollinators!
By tending a pollinator garden or learning about the many types of pollinators, kids learn to care for living things and become environmental stewards. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find at KidsGardening.org:
- Pollinator Garden Grant – KidsGardening and Little Seeds Kids, a brand of Dorel Home (the home furnishings division of Dorel Industries Inc.), are teaming up to offer the Little Seeds Pollinator Pals Grant to support youth garden programs interested in preserving and creating pollinator habitats. Twenty programs will be awarded checks of $500 to support the development of new and expansion of existing pollinator gardens. Grant applications are due July 15. (Learn more at https://kidsgardening.org/grant-opportunities/pollinator-pals-22/)
“We are proud to once again be partnering with KidsGardening to present the Pollinator Pals program and to be funding gardening programs in schools across the U.S.,” said Claudia Grundman, vice president – Global Brand Partnerships of Little Seeds Kids at Dorel Home. “From the very beginning, educating kids on nature and conservation has been a core value for Little Seeds. Just as plants grow, so do our children and we believe that nurturing, educating and giving them the right tools are essential for their future. We are beyond grateful and thrilled for the students that we will touch this year through our furniture and educational gardening program.”
- New Pollinator Resources – In partnership with Wyman’s, KidsGardening is excited to release three new activity guides that celebrate native pollinators. Designed for both educators and families, they explore native plant/pollinator relationships and include activities to get kids excited about the important role they play in our environment. The associated Bee Wild Giveaway offers an opportunity to win one of five pollinator-themed swag packs. (Learn more at https://kidsgardening.org/the-latest-pollinators-wymans/)
“Wyman’s has been committed to maintaining and growing native pollinator habitat for generations. We dedicate thousands of acres of land and resources to ensure that pollinators of all kinds can thrive as part of the natural ecosystem of wild blueberries. Our business simply can’t exist without them – no bees, no berries. We’re thrilled to be partnering with KidsGardening to bring the importance of pollinators and their role in our food system to educators and kids nationwide,” said Colleen Craig, brand manager at Wyman’s.
- In-Depth Lesson Plans and Activities – Lessons to Grow By is a comprehensive study guide that offers detailed information and hands-on activities for kids with supplemental suggested reading, videos and more. The Pollinator unit has four modules and is available for free in both English and Spanish. (Learn more at https://kidsgardening.org/the-latest-lessons-to-grow-by/)
- And more! You’ll find even more engaging resources, including step-by-step lesson plans and information on starting a pollinator garden, choosing plants to attract a variety of pollinators and so much more at KidsGardening.org!