SARASOTA COUNTY – Acting to help save bees, bats, birds, butterflies and other pollinators responsible for one out of three bites of food we take, Sarasota County will proclaim June 20-26 as “Pollinator Week.”
The proclamation at the June 21 Board of County Commissioners meeting will officially declare support for efforts to restore rapidly falling pollinator populations and provide education about the importance of pollinators.
Pollinators are essential in helping local agricultural operators produce crops that are vital to human health and that generate $15 million in revenues each year, and are key links to more than a third of the world’s crop yield. Pollinator numbers, though, have plummeted in recent years for a variety of reasons, including habitat loss.
Noting the population losses, the White House issued a call to action to provide the gardens and landscapes that pollinators need for food, water, and safe haven. Sarasota County acted by joining the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to identify and register 1 million such habitats, from window-box gardens to corporate campuses.
Sarasota County, through UF/IFAS Extension and Keep Sarasota County Beautiful, has registered more than 60 gardens and provided pollinator education to more than 100 people. Register your garden at share.pollinator.org and find a class on topics from pollinator-friendly plants to pesticide safety at sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu.