Protecting Our Pollinators

By: Laura Vogel, Adult Education Program Manager, Brookside Gardens ….. 

Montgomery Parks salutes RootingDC and its goal of bringing people together in the name of growing a healthier food system. Who can argue with that? It is obviously of critical importance, however what may not be as obvious are some of the factors that contribute to this cause and how human interaction may be interfering.

Pollinators play a big role in our ability to grow healthy food. In fact an astonishing 80% of the world’s plant species require a pollinator to reproduce: this includes plants that feed and shelter us as well as those essential to Earth’s ecosystems. The relationship between flora and fauna is being challenged on all sides by habitat loss, pesticides, invasive species, and more.

Montgomery Parks’ Brookside Gardens is delving deeper into this issue at our annual Green Matters Symposium, “Protecting Our Pollinators.” The all-day forum takes place February 27 at the Silver Spring Civic Center and will bring together a variety of experts on this topic.

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Dr. Ari Novy, Executive Director from the U.S. Botanic Garden will open the conference with a session on the importance of pollinators.

Stanton Gill from the University of Maryland Extension will look at how to best protect and encourage pollinators in the landscape.

A panel discussion on bees will feature:
o Sam Droege, the head of the United States Geological Survey Bee Monitoring Lab
o Allison Gillespie, author of “Hives in the City: Keeping Honey Bees Alive in an Urban World
o Timothy McMahon, president of the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association
o Jim Fraser, Montgomery County Beekeeper
o David Heisler, Owner and Grower of Comus Market

Dr. Krissa Skogen, Conservation Scientist at the Chicago Botanic Garden will present on Hawkmoth pollination.

The conference fee is $99 and includes access to all sessions. For an additional $25, participants can attend a buffet lunch with pollinator experts from around the country. For more information please visit www.BrooksideGreen.org.