Welcoming Spring with Native Pollinator Gardens
TEACH THE CHILDREN WELL……
There is a Buzz all around the planet. As our region is blooming with flowering trees and plants, so too are our pollinators buzzing and humming.
Many of us are concerned about our pollinators. The bees, butterflies, birds and moths that keep our fruits, vegetables and plants thriving need our help. For so many years, for many of us, our food sources have been the local grocery store. In many inner city areas there are “food deserts” where there are no fresh foods available. Many children do not know what a head of broccoli looks like, nor do they know where it comes from.
Green Teacher Network and the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system in North Carolina are partnering up to help change that. Green Teacher Network works to advance academics, health and sustainability through school gardens and outdoor learning. They empower educators to engage students in gardening, tastings and outdoor learning! They increase awareness of food and relevant outdoor hands-on learning that leads to improved health and academic.
Many Charlotte Mecklenburg schools have vegetable gardens. On April 15, 2016, thanks to our partners at Duke Energy, Rotary International, NC Wildlife Federation, Food Policy Council, Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation & my own association, the NC Beekeepers Association, over 65 schools in and around the Charlotte area will be planting a Pollinator Garden. The Native Plant Pollinator Garden program will add pollinator gardens to schools to teach kids how those tomatoes, cabbage and squash that have been planted in the vegetable gardens are pollinated. Instruction will be provided to the children about the many pollinators that come to pollinate those vegetables. To complete the circle, the program also will have a culinary program to teach children how to prepare those vegetables.
I have the pleasure and honor of helping this project unfold. I will be updating you on the progress of this program throughout the spring and ongoing this year. My hope and dream is that this project will become standard curriculum in North Carolina, and then in schools across the nation.
These are crucial topics that our children need to learn. These children are our future gardeners, farmers and beekeepers of tomorrow.
Teach Your Children Well………(Crosby, Stills, Nash)
Gladys is a Beekeeper and Master Gardener in Union County North Carolina. She is a NCSBA Piedmont Regional Director and has also served 4 years as the Secretary of the Union County NC Beekeeper’s Assoc. Go to www.thebeelady.org and www.GTNCharlotte.org to learn more.