Pollinator Week, Common Insects of Texas, Daylight Hour, Virtual Plant Sale, Picnic in the Park, Wild InSight Photo Contest, Houston Climate Justice Museum, Lord of the Roots, Green Jobs and more
National Pollinator Week, celebrated in 2021 from June 21-27, marks a time to recognize pollinators and ensure they are protected. From bees to butterflies, these creatures may be small in size, but their impact is substantial.
Without pollinators, there would be no gardens, fields, or farms. Approximately 4,000 species of bees pollinate wild plants across a diverse range of North American ecosystems. Three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants depend on animal pollinators. Life without pollinators means life without color.
Take a look and see how local organizations are contributing to the welfare of pollinators:
- To learn about gardening for pollinators, such as which plants and flowers the butterflies are attracted to, register for this on-demand webinar from Urban Harvest: Gardening for Pollinators and Bees.
- Educator Camia Lowman curates houstonnativebees.org, a website that provides information, curriculum, and resources to help educate and empower pollinator allies and promotes the development of pollinator pathways throughout the metropolitan area and connecting across states.
- The Woodlands Township is hosting its Second Annual Pollinator BioBlitz. The township also encourages individuals to register their yard as a “Pollinator Garden,” to raise awareness for the importance of pollinator’s habitats.
- The prairie Pollinator Pathways project of the Houston Zoo works with the community to create strategically located gardens that expand and link existing areas of pollinator habitats starting at the campus of the Johnson Space Center.
- The focus of the Texas Beekeepers’ Association is about the honey bee, it’s survival and management. Everyone who cares about the plight of the honey bee and who understands the great need to preserve this master pollinator is welcome to join the Association.
- The mission of Texan by Nature’s Bee a Solution is to support the threatened honeybee population through actively contributing in the apiculture industry by creating stationary pollinator habitats, migrating colonies for pollination, and sustainably producing honey for sale.
- The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation also provides information about protecting pollinators.
The monarch butterfly is a special pollinator, and not just because it is the State Butterfly of Texas. Every year, monarch butterflies undertake a one-thousand mile journey from Mexico to the north only to return back to Mexico. This migration is a phenomena considering no monarch would live for the entire journey. The population eastern monarchs has declined by more than 80% over the past two decades, and 26% compared to 2020, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. Learn more about Monarch efforts in our region:
- Houston Wilderness facilitates the Texas Monarch Flyway Strategy to enhance/restore over 25,000 acres of habitat for monarch butterflies along their migratory routes.
- The City of Sugar Land recently committed to to take action to help save the declining monarch butterfly and other pollinators, signing the the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge. Sugar Land joins Angleton, Houston, League City, and The Woodlands Township.
- Texan by Nature has curated information about monarch butterflies, including information on the status of federal listing of the butterfly as an endangered species.
- Learn about native milkweed, a host plant critical to the life cycle of monarchs, from the Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston Chapter.
Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers
Engage your students with lessons outdoors. Over 30 workshops are in the regional summer professional development calendar to connect you with local resources. Sign up today at hereinhouston.org.
- June 17, Virtual Texas Wildlife Association Teacher Workshop
- June 21, Make a PBL Project
- June 21 – August 20, Climate Change Essentials for All Educators
- June 23, Ecosystem Experience: What’s in the Water
Environmental Educators Exchange Social
All are welcome to join the Environmental Educators Exchange for an afternoon of nature journaling and networking on June 25 at 3:30 p.m. at the Pinspiration store, 3004 Yale Street. RSVP to Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org, as space is limited. The $30 cost includes all materials, and one hour of CPE credit is available. Invite a friend to learn more about the use of nature journals with children. This is also a great chance to meet informal educators around Houston, plan the fall conference for the Texas Association for Environmental Education, and strategize on a variety of ongoing projects. We work better together – so join us!
Mid-Year Survey: What’s up with our environment?
At the beginning of each year, we ask you to peer into the future and predict, wish, and pledge about our environment. We are halfway through the year, and we invite you to look to both the past and the future. Please let us know what you think have been the most significant environmental issues and events in the Houston region, what you predict and hope for the future, and how you plan to make a difference. Food for thought: new president, the Texas Legislature, freezing weather, environmental equity and racism, milestones, small wins, excellent journalism, voting rights…
Engage with Environmental Interns
CEC invites members of the environmental community to speak with our summer interns about career paths, advice, policy, DEI, leadership, and environmental topics. If you are willing to share your story with our interns, please reach out to email@example.com. If you have environmental interns this summer, we invite your interns to participate in these opportunities as well as socially-distanced, outdoor field trips; email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. CEC has a limited number of openings for summer interns. Learn more at cechouston.org.
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