Gardening with Native Plants for Bees, Birds and Butterflies
Time & Location
About the Event
Please join UPWC’s Zoom meeting on Monday, April 5, at noon to hear Dr. Liz Marshall, a Prince George’s County Master Gardener, AWSWatershed Steward, and organizer of the Capital Area Native Plants Group (capareanativeplants.org), speaking on the topic “Gardening with Native Plants for Bees, Birds and Butterflies.”
Research reports have indicated an alarming decline in native bee, butterfly, and bird populations in the United States and worldwide. Such declines have complex and wide-ranging implications for natural ecosystems as well as the services they provide that humans have come to rely upon. Many of the foods we eat depend on pollinators in order to produce the food products we consume, for instance. Both native bees and non-native honey bees contribute to crop pollination, and their decline threatens both the diversity and stability of our food supply and the successful regeneration of wild plant species. Loss of wild plant species means loss of the insects and animals that depend on those plants, as well as loss of the genetic diversity that humans have relied upon for pharmaceutical development and agricultural advancements in productivity and disease-resistance.
While not as efficient as bees, butterflies are also pollinators and are an integral part of the complex food chains upon which natural ecosystems are built. Bird populations are particularly reliant on butterfly and moth larvae to rear their young. A report from September 2019, states that in the past half century, North America has lost one quarter of its bird population, or nearly 3 billion birds. Multiple factors have contributed to this decline, including loss and fragmentation of habitat, declining health of natural ecosystems, pesticide use, and even outdoor cats and window strikes.
What can we do to support diminishing populations of bees, birds, and butterflies? Please join us to learn how we can become pollinator protectors by growing plants in our gardens that welcome bees, birds, and butterflies.