New national effort offers local support to park and recreation agencies to promote pollinator awareness and education for children and families
Ashburn, VA and Marysville, OH (June 13, 2019) —The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation will launch Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz, a program inspiring local parks to host a pollinator BioBlitz event during June in celebration of pollinator month to raise awareness and community involvement in the pollinator crisis. The BioBlitz campaign is part of ScottsMiracle-Gro’s Gro More Good commitment to connect 10 million children to the benefits of gardens and greenspaces by 2023, and more specifically, to promote pollinator education and protection to America’s youngest generation of gardeners.
A BioBlitz event involves park staff, community members, families and children working together to create a literal snapshot of the variety of life that can be found in their local parks and open spaces. The Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz campaign will use the iNaturalist platform—a website and app that helps facilitate BioBlitzes. Families can download the app on a smart device and use it to take photographs of plants, insects and animals to see what wildlife is present in their local park on a particular day. The results will make an impact for awareness of pollinators nationally and also help park and recreation agencies know what pollinator species are in their parks and help them plan for how to protect them.
“NRPA is proud to partner with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation on this important campaign,” said Kellie May, NRPA vice president of programs. “Public parks play an increasing role in addressing pollinator decline, and this initiative will help strengthen the work our agencies do to educate the public about the important role pollinators play in our daily lives and inspire individuals to take action.”
“The health of our food supply depends on pollinators,” said Tim Martin, vice president and general manager for ScottsMiracle-Gro’s Ortho brand. “It’s important to be able to recognize the specific types of pollinators that thrive in our backyards, parks and local community so that more people can take steps to protect them. A BioBlitz is a fun and educational way that NRPA, ScottsMiracle-Gro and our brands can reach young gardeners on the importance of pollinators and what we all can do to help protect them.”
As part of this campaign, NRPA and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation granted $20,000 to Columbus Recreation and Parks Department to create pollinator habitats and educate local children, families and community members on pollinator issues. ScottsMiracle-Gro’s Ortho team is also working with Columbus Recreation and Parks Department to conduct pollinator habitat surveys and pollinator education activities during Pollinator Awareness Month in June.
“These efforts directly support our mission to connect the people of our community through the power of nature, wellness and creativity,” said Tony Collins, director, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. “We cannot be successful without the generous and collaborative support of partners like The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, Ortho and the National Recreation and Parks Association.”
NRPA and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation kicked-off their partnership in June 2018 with the creation of the Parks for Pollinators campaign to raise public awareness of pollinator health and encouraging local action through public parks and pollinator gardens. NRPA and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation recognize that parks play a key role in protecting and preserving pollinators and their habitats, and believe pollinators are essential to the wellbeing of our health, food supply, natural environment and economy.
According to a recent poll conducted by NRPA, nearly all Americans agree that promoting pollinator health should be a conservation priority across the United States. Promoting pollinator health includes protecting against the decline and death of pollinators, such as honey bees and other insects, and increasing their habitat.
In addition to its Gro More Good initiative, ScottsMiracle-Gro has engaged in a multiyear Pollinator Promise effort since 2015 to help home gardeners, community gardeners and urban planners understand the critical role pollinators play in our ecosystem and to provide them with the tools necessary to grow successful pollinator gardens.
To learn more about Parks for Pollinators, visit www.nrpa.org/parks4pollinators.
To learn more about the Gro More Good initiative, visit www.GroMoreGood.org.
About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.
About The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation
The mission of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is to inspire, connect and cultivate a community of purpose. The Foundation is deeply rooted in helping create healthier communities, empower the next generation, and preserve our planet. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that funds non-profit entities that support its core initiatives in the form of grants, endowments and multi-year capital gifts. For more information, visit www.scottsmiraclegrofoundation.org.