Earth Week 2019
Happy Earth Day! Monday, April 22 marks the beginning of Earth Week, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than supporting the conservation of invertebrates—”the little things that run the world.” For the next several days, we will be sharing updates on key program areas—pollinator conservation, pesticide reduction, and endangered species conservation—and how you can help. Make sure to check back here each day for the newest content and tips, and thank you for doing your part!
Earth Week 2019 Blog Posts
We invite you to commit to the four principles of the Pollinator Protection Pledge:
- Grow a variety of pollinator-friendly flowers to provide the nectar and pollen bees need.
- Provide shelter. Ensure there are nest sites for bees, host plants for caterpillars, and places pollinators can overwinter.
- Avoid using pesticides, especially neonicotinoids, because they are harmful to pollinators.
- Spread the word by talking to your friends and neighbors.
With a robust set of requirements on pesticide use and the highest standards for protecting and restoring pollinator habitat of any food certification, Bee Better Certified represents a new era in biodiversity protection on farms—and what better time to celebrate this program’s growth than during Earth Week? We’ve been working hard to launch BBC within a number of different crop sectors, but almonds have always been on the top of our list due to their dependence on pollinators, the scale of the industry, and the limited pollinator habitat that exists in California’s Central Valley—one of the world’s main almond production areas, and one of the most intensively farmed landscapes on earth.
Join Aimee Code, the Xerces Society’s Pesticide Program Director, as she dons her muck boots, grabs her trowel and loppers, and works to fulfill the third step in the Xerces Society’s Bring Back the Pollinators Pledge: avoid the use of pesticides—including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. She provides tried and true (and science-based!) advice for managing a home garden successfully, without resorting to using chemicals that are harmful to bees and other important invertebrates. Implementing these tips is a great way to celebrate Earth Week, and to show appreciation for pollinators and beneficial insects throughout the year.
Robbin Thorp, Professor Emeritus at University of California–Davis, has made lasting contributions to the bee conservation community in ways that might never be measured, but will certainly be felt. As such, it is fitting to recognize this living legend of North American bumble bee conservation during Earth Week. Dr. Thorp’s work has contributed to scientific knowledge, helped to secure vital protections for the rusty patched bumble bee, and has also helped to support and inspire a trained force of community scientists spread across North America. The best part? You can share in this legacy by joining one of the Xerces Society’s community science projects, including Bumble Bee Watch.
Earth Week is an inspiring time, brimming with opportunities to make a difference in the days following Earth Day—and beyond. If you want to mobilize your city or county to make room for pollinators, then the Xerces Society’s initiative, Bee City USA, may have the formula you need. The program galvanizes communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free to nearly free of pesticides. Since the program’s establishment in 2012, 81 cities and 68 colleges have become affiliates—with a formalized commitment to protect pollinators.
Every Bee City USA affiliate starts with a pollinator champion. Could you be that champion for your community? Phyllis Stiles, Bee City USA founder, explains how to get started.
Helping the monarch back to full health isn’t going to be easy or quick, but we can’t stand by and do nothing. If we all plant a small patch of milkweed and nectar plants, and all think about how we can change our actions to make things better for monarchs, together we can transform the landscape to allow the monarch to rebound—and give our children the gift of watching orange wings flap in the sunshine.
Additionally, we recommend submitting sightings to the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper, which will further our understanding of monarch and milkweed distribution, and guide further conservation efforts.
More Ways to Support Invertebrates this Earth Week
Contribute to community science efforts! If there are monarchs in your region, you can submit data through the WMMM website, or use the free Monarch SOS iOS app. For bumble bee sightings, you can use the Bumble Bee Watch website, or download the Bumble Bee Watch iOS app to contribute data.
As usual, we have a variety of upcoming events across the country. Please visit our event page to find a talk, workshop, or other event near you.
Our work to conserve invertebrates, “the little things that run the world,” wouldn’t be possible without the support of donors like you. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Xerces Society for Earth Week. Thank you for standing with us!