As winter fades into memory and Iowa prepares for the spring, many people take to their backyards and gardens to enjoy the weather and flowering plants. Unfortunately, an important part of this beautiful system is in jeopardy: pollinators.
Butterflies and other pollinators are an important part of the ecosystem. Without pollinators, many plants cannot mature or spread. If pollinators were to disappear completely, we would lose one third of our fruit, vegetables and cotton crops.
Currently, butterflies and other pollinators are disappearing in part due to loss of habitat and feeding resources, changes in the climate and human development. It is estimated that butterflies alone lose 2.2 million acres of habitat each year, but it is not too late to act.
This year, Iowans can help expand the range and improve the quality of habitats for butterflies and other pollinators by planting butterfly-friendly gardens in their home gardens.
Plant.Grow.Fly., an initiative the Council is a proud partner on, aims to help pollinators by promoting gardens that help pollinators throughout Iowa. Through education and advocacy, this initiative hopes to see an improvement in the habitat for pollinators. Those with even a little bit of outside space can plant gardens that support pollinator habitat.
Visit the Plant.Grow.Fly. website, hosted on the Blank Park Zoo site, to access information ranging from instructions on how to start a garden to guides on what plants to grow. Plant. Grow. Fly. makes it easy to get started. Once you’ve created your garden, register it with Plant. Grow. Fly. to show support and help spread the word about the plight of pollinators.
Through education and action, we can help reverse this disturbing trend and save our winged friends.