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Celebrating bees, butterflies, and bats during National Pollinator Week

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - This week is National Pollinator Week so you may be asking yourself, what’s a pollinator?

Pollinators are a mix of animals such as bees, butterflies, moths, bats, and birds, which carry pollen between plants.

Agencies across the country recognizing pollinators and their essential role in our nation’s food system.

National Pollinator Week started Monday, June 21st, and will continue until Friday, June 25th.

The awareness week is celebrated each year to recognize just how important pollinators are to the production of food and fiber.

In 2019, the state of Tennessee Departments of Transportation, Environment & Conservation, and Agriculture all partnered together on a project to plant 64 acres of pollinator meadows between eight state parks.

Since then, meadows have grown and contained a mixture of plants that sustain pollinators.

“We have been able to plant meadows that have both a mixture of milkweed and also nectar-bearing fruit. And it’s really an opportunity to really bring the beauty and the importance of these meadows front and center,” said Mike McClanahan, from TDOT's Environmental Division.

The agencies have also placed new signage up at each meadow in these state parks to educate the public on the importance of each blooming meadow.

The Madison County’s University of Tennessee Extension Office says preserving pollinators is a top priority when it comes to our food supply.

“Pollinators are super important about three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants require pollination assistant at least, from insects. So, it’s super important for those flowering plants to be able to progress or mature and produce seed," said Celeste Scott, the Madison Co. Horticulture Extension Agent at the University of Tennessee Extension Office.

So next time you pick a bouquet of flowers or enjoy a fresh strawberry, just remember, you should thank a pollinator.

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