...where I ask my OGC friends for their suggestions and ideas for my community's annual Earthwalk Event.
Unlike previous years, I got the CG to agree on a theme in advance and the theme this year is "Protect Our Pollinators".
The Earthwalk is intended to be an interactive event for young people to learn about their local, natural, environment, ideally with hands on experiences. About 700 to 100 young people are expected to pass through this year. Obviously, plantings for pollinators fits right in, but I want to be able to present activities/challenges this audience can relate to. Right now, we are presenting information on the importance of pollinators to our food supply, a picture guessing game called "Good Bug-Bad Bug", and yours truly will be dressing up in a Bee costume answering questions. Also, I am reaching out to a local honey producer for assistance. I do appreciate all y'alls input.
Bee hives, bee keeping, bee facts, honey, pesticides, GMO's. All good topics that relate to pollinators. And what about pollinators that are not bees? Most people think only of bees. Something about the Monarch butterfly decline might fit in too.
Following mumsey's train of thought about butterflies... Perhaps something about the life cycle of butterflies...Some may not know they start from caterpillars which spin cocoons... (Same idea about praying mantis and the ootheca from which they hatch...though they're beneficials, not pollinators...)
Not sure what the event all entails but if there is any 'computer stuff' going on there, (how's that for being technical lol), perhaps videos showing the spinning of cocoons and oothecas and the subsequent hatchings... I've seen some pretty interesting videos of stuff like that online...
(Which came first, the butterfly, the caterpillar or the cocoon?... )...
Maybe something about hand-pollination and how it's done...as an alternative to the 'real' pollinators...?...
Some type of display of enlargement photos of microscopic images of pollens...The different pollens are quite beautiful and there are so many... The first time I saw pollen enlarged, I was amazed...
I garden ~~~ Therefore I am
OG Member since 2002 ~~~ Southeastern PA ~~~ Zone 7a
Introduce them to the idea of making a bee hotel, while explaining that if they build it and the bees come, care must be taken to not expose the bees to pesticides. This would require parental involvement for the younger kids.
Are there take home projects that could apply? I was thinking, e.g., of showing how to make a butterfly hatchery. I recall years ago that some gardening friends used jars and parsley (and maybe dill) to entice butterflies to lay eggs and hatch. I've never done this, but it would be an interesting project to start. Photos and chatty lectures could explain how butterflies use certain plants for laying eggs, how they hatch and turn into caterpillars, then into butterflies.
There are a lot of butterfly coloring books available through Dover Publication. They're copyright free. I believe that would allow you to pass out copies, and kids could take them home, color them, and at least learn different varieites if not follow through with attracting and nesting.
A few decades ago I was going to teach a children's gardening class through my community, and contacted Dover to ask for permission even though I would be using copyright free images. I never got an answer. Had the course actually been held, I would have gone ahead and used the drawings since they were copyright free.
As to bees, you might also want to extend the use of honey to beyond food applications, such as how it's used in cooking as well as for medicinal purposes. I think most people just think of honey as a delicious topping for biscuits (and now I'm hungry for a warm biscuit drizzled with honey).
What about including something on the various types of bees? And the flowers and herbs they prefer? You might want to create a home project so the interest could be continued beyond the event....children could research (or you could have handouts) on which plants bees prefer, and the children could plan their own pollinator gardens for their family yards.
Perhaps have a follow-up get together to keep interest high; kids could share what they've done to encourage pollinators in their yards. I think if there are follow-on activities, their interests would remain stronger.
Post by gardendmpls on Feb 10, 2019 23:40:40 GMT -5
How about making seed bombs? Its a form of guerrilla gardening: "Seed bombs are the main weapon guerrilla gardeners can use to spread flowers in bare spots, creating pockets of beauty and habitats for pollinators."
Get a volunteer gardener to dress up as a Round Up tank and make the kids hit it with baseball bats. Alternatively, make a Round Up pinata and have the kids hit it with a baseball bat. The pinata should be filled with really awful tasting jelly beans such as Dirty Dishwater / Dead Fish, Coconut / Canned Dog Food, Berry Blue / Stink Bug etc. to be fully educational.