Tiny insects make worldly impacts.
West Virginia 4-H’ers in Wood County will have the opportunity to learn more about pollinators’ role in the environment with the help of a $5,000 grant from Dupont.
Students will learn what they can do to improve the vast decline of pollinators by planting gardens that attract these types of insects. The upcoming projects will help sustain the pollinator population and create positive effects on the environment.
Jodi Smith, WVU Extension Service 4-H agent and associate professor in Wood County, spent the past few summers conducting a 4-H camp science experiment that explored how pollinators affect the environment. The experiment grew into a service project that allowed students to plant trees and pollinator gardens in their community.
That camp experiment also created a lot of buzz. 4-H clubs across Wood County expressed an interest in starting their own gardens and tree planting projects. The grant from DuPont will allow the 4-H program to consider requests from 4-H clubs to help fund those projects.
“Pollinators are insects like bees and butterflies that take pollen from a plant and then go off to pollinate other plants in order to grow food,” Smith said. “The number of pollinators is declining, so education and outreach is critical in addressing this important issue.”
At a recent conference, Smith learned that 35% of the world’s crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce. She expects the grant to provide the region with necessary funds to continue their pollinator projects – like planting milkweed, crocus bulbs and wildflowers native to the area.
Wood County is a leader in pollinator projects with Williamstown receiving the Bee City U.S.A. designation — the first town in the state to receive this title. The mission is to cultivate communities that help sustain pollinators. The efforts of Wood County 4-H’ers will further enhance and develop pollinator habitats in the area.
“My hope is that the grant will increase the knowledge of our 4-H members, our volunteers and our constituents about the importance of pollinators. I want them to understand the role they play in our daily lives as well as the importance of tree planting on the environment,” Smith said.
The gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that solicits and administers private donations on behalf of the University.
For more information about WVU Extension Service, visit extension.wvu.edu or follow @WVUExtension on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
CONTACT: Haley Moore
WVU Extension Service
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