Sawtooth Botanical Garden
What are the appropriate grade levels:
K through 12
Is there a limit to the number of participants:
Is there an opportunity for community service:
Yes – Flexible
Is this a new or existing project:
Estimated project cost:
The Sawtooth Botanical Garden (SBG) proposes to plant a Pollinator Garden as part of a national backyard bee count project called the Great Sunflower Project (see: www.greatsunflowerproject.org). The Great Sunflower Projects collaborates with citizens across North America to plant flowers (initially it was only sunflowers), observe how many and how often bees visit those flowers using a standardized method of data collection and then add that information to a database on The Great Sunflower Project Web site. This is the largest study of pollinator activity using citizens to collect data. Data is used to create an online map of bee populations. The project has since expanded to include Bee Balm, Cosmos, Rosemary, Tickseed, and Purple Coneflower in the target gardens.
Bee populations are key to help pollinate not only our national food supply but also many other native and ornamental plants. In recent years, scientists have documented that honey bee and native bee populations are declining with potential effects to our gardens, crops and areas for wildlife. As a public garden, SBG intends to participate in this national bee count and involve local citizens by planting a raised bed located amongst the community garden to the south of the property. We will plant Sunflowers, Tickseed, and Cosmos to attract bees and invite visitors and school groups to participate in regular bee counts in the garden. The results of each count will be submitted to the online database hosted by the Great Sunflower Project. A small interpretive sign at the garden will educate the public on pollinators and this important environmental issue. The Great Sunflower Project offers an award of 0 to the garden group with the highest number of counts. We are able to receive free sunflower seeds if we join the cause, but we plan to include specific pollinator plantings for hummingbirds and butterflies, in addition to plants that attract bees. This variety would provide awareness of the importance of all pollinators to our gardens and the overall web of life. The Pollinator Garden will enhance SBG’s ability to provide the community with a wide array of quality educational offerings at our site. Creation of this garden we will not only educate youth and adults about pollinators, but we will also be able to help a national program by contributing to their data collection.
Click on image for larger view
Classrooms who have adopted this project