(Media release from UGA Extension):
On August 20th and 21st, Georgians across the state will join together to count pollinators as part of the Great Georgia Pollinator Census (https://GGaPC.org) community science project. Over the past two years over 8,000 counts were submitted and over 100,000 insects were counted! We hope to increase the number of participants this year.
In 2019, over 100 events centering on the census took place across the state and participants counted at public gardens, UGA Extension offices, and schools. In 2020, we stayed at home and counted with our families. In 2021, we hope to do both!
Participants are asked to count pollinators on a favorite pollinator plant for 15 minutes. A “favorite” pollinator plant is one that shows an abundance of insect activity. Counters place the insects they find into one of eight categories:
- bumble bees
- carpenter bees
- small bees
- honey bees
- other insects
The goals of the project are to gather data on our pollinator insect population, to create pollinator habitat, and to increase entomological literacy around these insects. The project is housed on the website (https://GGaPC.org ) and all information on the census is found there. The Insect Counting and Identification Guide gives detailed instructions on counting. Interested citizens can sign up for a monthly newsletter full of information on pollinator gardening and insect identification.
This project is perfect for schools doing STEAM work. Educational pieces are posted on the Georgia Pollinator Census Facebook page and are available for teachers to copy for later use in the classroom. An educator page including lesson plan links is attached to the website.
The project is a natural fit for families who want to participate in insect conservation. The website and the Georgia Pollinator Census Facebook page is continually updated with information and fun family activity ideas. There is also information for businesses who want to get involved either by having their employees participate as a company outreach or by having events at the place of businesses to attract conservation-minded customers (like breweries or restaurants).
Won’t you join us this year? We are protecting pollinators one count at a time! For more information contact your local UGA Cooperative Extension office or Becky Griffin, project coordinator, at email@example.com.