“Pollinator Potluck” Series Continues with Emphasis on Encouraging Pollinators

Greenwich Garden Club Conservation serves Pollination at Potluck

In Janaury, The Greenwich Garden Club Conservation Committee launched the first in its series of “pollinator potlucks” at Greenwich Audubon with 80 guests.

Dr. Michelle Frankel, Director of Audubon Greenwich and statewide team leader for Audubon Connecticut’s Bird-Friendly Communities program, addressed the audience. Dr. Frankel explained about Audubon’s “Bird-Friendly Communities” program that works with communities in Greenwich and across Connecticut to create healthy habitats in parks, schoolyards and residential yards. Participants learned about the relationship between native plants and native pollinators and other wildlife and simple actions they can take in their own yards to make them healthier places for both wildlife and people. Participants also got a preview of the soon-to-launch campaign by National Audubon Society to create the World’s Largest Bird Sanctuary – and how they can be a part of it.

Dr. Frankel said, “Audubon has a long history of partnership with the Greenwich Garden Club around conservation efforts in Greenwich. The Pollinator Potlucks are proving to be a powerful way to bring the community together to learn about some of the most serious conservation threats to wildlife that also have far reaching impacts on our economy and human health. But each of us – especially all you gardeners out there – can make a difference, one pollinator garden at a time.”

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Kim Gregory from the Greenwich Garden Club with speaker Howland Blackiston. Credit: Karen Sheer

In February, GGC conservation partnered with Garden Education Center of Greenwich www:gecgreenwich.org to present Howland Blackiston, author of “Beekeeping for Dummies” and “Building Beehives for Dummies” to another 80 guests, many repeat customers from the previous pollinator potluck. (The Latest Buzz: Author of Beekeeping for Dummies Speaks at the Greenwich Gardens Club’s Pollinator Potluck)

Mr. Blackiston explained why bees are vanishing and what we can do to help reverse this grim situation. The theme of the potluck was honeycomb with cheese platters, honey glazed hams, honey biscuits with honey butter, honey Dijon salads, honey apple crisp, mead wine and tea with honey.

March pollinator potluck was at Innis Arden Cottage. Jeff Cordulack, Executive Director, The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA) addressed non point source pollution (NPS)…the relationships between healthy soil and healthy water.

A Connecticut native, Jeff spent a decade with the National Audubon Society in Greenwich. Since taking the helm of CT NOFA in July 2015 Jeff is focused on elevating the importance of ecologically-sustainable methods and working to ensure the growth and viability of organic agriculture, organic food, and organic land care.

He discussed how farmers and gardeners can increase native pollinator biodiversity and also provided an update on the Connecticut General Assembly’s efforts to pass Senate Bill No. 231 – ‘An Act Concerning Pollinator Health: To implement state and private actions that are aimed at protecting pollinator populations through restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids and the increase and preservation of pollinator habitats.’ This new bill will make a big difference for honeybee and native pollinator protection and will begin to reduce the use of neonicotinoids, a group of pesticides that has been found to harm honeybees and other native species.

On April 28 at 5:30pm Steve Conaway, Conservation and Outreach Director, The Greenwich Land Trust, presents: The Practical Pollinator…principals of habitat improvement to encourage pollinators and other wildlife into your home landscape. The GLT Mueller Conservation Preserve is located on Round Hill Road www.gltrust.org

May 25 is Pizza PlotLuck in Greenwich Community Gardens (GCG) at Armstrong Court with its new pizza oven and fresh vegetables. Patty Sechi, GCG President and Founder www.greenwichcommunitygardens.org demonstrates gardening for pollinators. May 26th is the rain date.

June 16th begins National Pollinator Week! Greenwich Garden Club Conservation Committee hosts a pollinator primer with wine and cheese, while learning what to plant for the summer.

Happiness Is…catering provides food and The Study Fine Wine provides organic wine tasting for all of the pollinator events. Fifty percent of all proceeds from wine ordered at potlucks is donated back to the host organization for Greenwich Garden Club to plant pollinators on its property. www.happinessisevents.com www.thestudyfinewines.com

“Since these pollinator potlucks are free of charge, our partnership with not only the host organization but Happiness Is…and The Study Fine Wine have both kept our costs low and raised some funds for pollinator projects throughout town,” states Kim Gregory, conservation chair. “Other than raising awareness of the importance for healthy environments that contribute to pollination, these potlucks have been a true example of collaboration within our community.”

As the conservation committee plans future programs, Greenwich Garden Club hopes to grow these community relationships and pollinator projects. A September Pollinator Picnic will highlight another conservation partner, The Greenwich Riding & Trails Association, hosting on its Nichols Preserve in the Northwest corner of town.

Then on October 27, 2016 at 7:00pm  GGC Conservation is welcomed back to The Audubon Center Greenwich with Gary Langham speaking on birds, plants and climate.

The Greenwich Garden Club was founded in 1914 and is a member of the Garden Club of America.The purpose of the Greenwich Garden Club is to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, to promote and participate in the improvement, restoration, and protection of the natural environment, and to share the advantages of association through programs and actions in conservation, civic improvement and education. For more information on the pollinator potluck series contact Kim Gregory 203-918-5254 staglanefarm@yahoo.com

See also:

The Latest Buzz: Author of Beekeeping for Dummies Speaks at the Greenwich Gardens Club’s Pollinator Potluck

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