Pollinators in Georgia
All citizens of Georgia will benefit from an increased awareness of the importance of pollinators in our overall ecosystem. Pollinators are responsible for assisting over 80% of the world's flowering plants. It has been calculated that one out of every four mouthfuls of food we eat, and beverages we drink, is delivered to us by pollinators.
As Georgia’s largest industry, agriculture is at particular risk – from fruit and vegetable production to grains and orchards. Pollinators ensure full harvests and seed production from many agricultural crops and provides for healthy plants grown in backyards, community gardens, and other urban areas.
In Georgia, our primary pollinators include bees, wasps, birds (especially hummingbirds), butterflies, moths, flies, mosquitoes, beetles, ants, slugs and snails. Pollinators are essential components of the habitats and ecosystems that many wild animals rely on for food and shelter. Despite the importance of pollinators, the ever-expanding conversion of landscapes to human uses adversely affects their habitats. A growing body of evidence indicates that these beneficial creatures are in serious decline, due to loss, modification, and fragmentation of habitat, and the use of pesticides.
The risk of losing the essential role of pollinators, required for the successful propagation of native plant communities, wildlife habitats, and a range of food crops, is real. The first step in recovery from this decline is public education and awareness, along with demonstration of tangible evidence that the health and population of pollinators in Georgia can be observed.
HOW GACD IS WORKING TO INCREASE AWARENESS AND POPULATION OF GEORGIA’S POLLINATORS:
Pollinator demonstration gardens
GACD will work with all 40 of Georgia’s Conservation Districts to install one Pollinator Demonstration Garden in every District. These Pollinator Demonstration Gardens are designed to be installed at locations with high public visibility. They are to be a minimum of 800 square feet and seeded with annuals or blended perennials. GACD will provide a teaching curriculum to go along with the Gardens.
Not only will everyone benefit from the learning experience, but a wide number of non-participants will observe these gardens daily and learn about pollinators from this experience.
2. Pollinator habitats
There is a significant need to emphasize substantial dedicated Pollinator Habitat Sites throughout Georgia, not only to provide immediate vegetation to support our pollinators, but to encourage all landowners to install and establish permanent pollinator habitats to further support and sustain pollinators in their critical role in Georgia agriculture. This initiative will result in the establishment of a vast network of habitats throughout Georgia.