If you’ve volunteered with the Cherry Hill Trail Crew, you’ve already volunteered with The Cherry Hill Environmental Board (CHEB).  The Cherry Hill Trail Crew is a CHEB function serving to provide maintenance on Cherry Hill Trails.  Not only is CHEB responsible for Cherry Hill’s Trails, it also has the mission of enhancing the natural resources on Cherry Hill Open Space lands.  CHEB wants you!

One aspect of CHEB’s natural resource management mission is to support native pollinators like butterflies and bees. Many pollinators, like the Monarch butterfly, are in decline.  Some are even on the federal and state endangered species lists.  This decline is primarily due to loss of habitat, and misuse of pesticides.

Here’s why your volunteer effort is important…

Converting mowed areas on Cherry Hill Open Space lands to pollinator friendly habitat creates pesticide-free homes for native plants, pollinators and other wildlife. 

Pollinator habitat provides:

  • A place of beauty and mental rest for humans

  • A location for artists and photographers

  • A place for nature study

  • A resource to absorb rainwater and prevent erosion

  • Habitat that reduces the need for public workers to use gas-polluting mowers to cut grass.

 

Here’s what CHEB is doing to create pollinator habitat…

CHEB is developing pollinator gardens and meadows.  In the spring of 2016 CHEB took one previously mowed patch on Open Space lands at the Cleveland Ave trailhead of Cherry Valley Trails that supported no wildlife and converted it to a pollinator  “meadow”. 

By the fall of 2017 native flowering plants filled the space of over 1000 square feet.  Butterflies, bees, birds, and even bunnies responded.  Monarchs laid eggs and their caterpillars munched on the leaves of the milkweed that CHEB volunteers planted.    The Cherry Valley Trails pollinator meadow received the designation of Monarch Waystation.

Here’s how you can help maintain this habitat, its wildlife and enhance the experience of trail users…

Volunteer a little time to maintain and improve this and future pollinator gardens and meadows by:

  • Planting new plants

  • Mulch

  • Trim

  • Weed

  • Compost

 

Contact Mary Ellen (chpollgarden at gmail dot com).  ​

WHY POLLINATORS ARE IMPORTANT?

Pollinators are responsible for 1 out of 3 bites of food we take each day, and yet pollinators are at critical point in their own survival. Many reasons contribute to their recent decline. We know for certain, however, that more nectar and pollen sources provided by more flowering plants and trees will help improve their health and numbers. Increasing the number of pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes will help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across the country.

Pollinators, such as most bees and some birds, bats, and other insects, play a crucial role in flowering plant reproduction and in the production of most fruits and vegetables.  Examples of crops that are pollinated include apples, squash, and almonds. Without the assistance of pollinators, most plants cannot produce fruits and seeds. The fruits and seeds of flowering plants are an important food source for people and wildlife.  Some of the seeds that are not eaten will eventually produce new plants, helping to maintain the plant population.

   

In the United States pollination by honey bees directly or indirectly (e.g., pollination required to produce seeds for the crop) contributed to over $19 billion of crops in 2010. Pollination by other insect pollinators contributed to nearly $10 billion of crops in 2010.  A recent study of the status of pollinators in North America by the National Academy of Sciences found that populations of honey bees (which are not native to North America) and some wild pollinators are declining.  Declines in wild pollinators may be a result of habitat loss and degradation, while declines in managed bees is linked to disease (introduced parasites and pathogens).

 

WHAT IS POLLINATION?

Pollination results when the pollen from the male part of the flower (stamen) is moved to the female part of the same or another flower (stigma) and fertilizes it, resulting in the production of fruits and seeds.  Some flowers rely on the wind to move pollen, while other rely on animals to move pollen.  

Animals visit flowers in search of food and sometimes even mates, shelter and nest-building materials. Some animals, such as many bees, intentionally collect pollen, while others, such as many butterflies and birds, move pollen incidentally because the pollen sticks on their body while they are collecting nectar from the flowers. All of these animals are considered pollinators.

CHERRY HILL POLLINATOR GARDENS

POLLINATOR GARDEN RESOURCES:

Pollinator Brochure - Attracting Pollinators to your Garden (click it)

KIDS CORNER:

Neighborhood Explorers Club  Let's Go Outside! 
Learn about pollinators and other wildlife using Neighborhood Explorers. Pollinators are featured in "Lucy's Story", "Lucy's Challenge", and "NX Detective Game".

Webcast: The Insect Zoo in Your Schoolyard

PollinatorLIVE: The Insect Zoo in Your Schoolyard was webcast from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Learn about pollination, pollinators, participatory science projects, the latest about monarch butterflies, and how to attract pollinators to your schoolyard.

LEARNING CENTER - 

Join in for the 2018 Monarch Conservation Webinar Series, hosted by the Monarch Joint Venture and the USFWS National Conservation Training Center! On the 4th Tuesday of each month, we will dive into a new monarch conservation topic with expertise and experience from the MJV partnership and other organizations. 

Don’t miss out on the exciting 2018 series!