June is recognized as National Pollinator Month and Pollinator Partnership designated June 20-26, 2022 as National Pollinator Week. This week is an annual celebration supporting pollinator health due to their declining populations. Pollinators such as bees, birds, butterflies and more provide valuable ecosystem services.
The Park District of Franklin Park has made efforts to aid pollinators, which include a number of pollinator friendly plants throughout the district. Last summer, Discovery Day Campers planted milkweed at Little Pearl, Elder, North & Ruby Addison Parks. The Park District also participated in No Mow Till Mother’s Day to help create a favorable environment for pollinators.
This National Pollinator Week, Discovery Day Campers are assisting Parks Department in preparing a new pollinator garden at Discovery Park. The Park District was awarded an Earth Day in the Parks Grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation and the Illinois Conservation Foundation. Campers started the process by cleaning, pulling weeds and raking a 375 square foot area near the front of the park. Park District staff is teaching campers how to dig holes, place plants and about types of pollinators. The garden will be maintained by campers until August and then North School students will maintain it until winter.
Part of the Park District’s mission is to educate our community on environmental concerns. Education takes places during community events and early childhood programs such as summer camps and preschool. As we continue our pollinator protection efforts through Project Aurelius, stay tuned for more educational opportunities.