Press release from Monmouth Conservation Foundation

It is a melancholy thought to imagine a world without butterflies, hummingbirds, or the flowers and plants that we depend on them to pollinate. Two of our most vital pollinator species, honeybees and butterflies, are in decline — a decline fueled by the development of our natural lands.

In response, Monmouth Conservation Foundation has created an awareness campaign to take action on the issues facing these critical species through the launch of Kids for Conservation/Project Pollinator. The project, which launched with a county-wide art student art contest, continues with two public-invited events, the first of which will take place on Friday, April 22 at Sickles Market in Little Silver.

During the Project Pollinator Earth Day event at Sickles, attendees will learn how to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to their garden by planting butterfly habitat.  Free seed packets and information about planting pollinator attracting plants will be provided during the event, which runs from 12 to 4 p.m.

On Sunday, June 5, the Foundation invites all ages to a Kids for Conservation Family Day Event in celebration of pollinators at Huber Woods Park, Middletown.  Enjoy a free afternoon of fun, spring themed activities for the whole family, including live butterfly demonstration, contest submission art show, face painting, nature walk, scavenger hunt, and refreshments.

At Monmouth Conservation Foundation, we believe that educating the next generation of environmental stewards is a crucial first step towards positive change.  With that in mind, all Monmouth County preschool and kindergarten classes were invited to participate in an interactive contest to teach children about the importance of pollinators. Participating schools are entered to win a $1,500 first place grant, and two $500 second place grants to their schools through submission of a pollinator inspired class art project. In partnership with the Monmouth University School of Education, each school has been provided with a pollinator lesson plan. Contest art submissions must demonstrate what the class learned through an artistic interpretation. Monmouth Arts is assisting by providing judges to determine contest winners. Contest submission deadline is Monday, May 16. Additionally, each child will be provided with a pollinator attracting seed packet to begin a garden at home.

Children and adults alike are invited to participate. We can all help to protect pollinators by growing our own pollinator gardens at home and reducing use of harmful pesticides that are at the crux of the crisis. Monmouth Conservation Foundation is providing free seed packets to the public to begin growing their own garden today.

Monmouth Conservation Foundation, founded in 1977 by Michael Huber and Judith Stanley-Coleman as a 501(c)(3), is an accredited land trust dedicated to saving land, preserving farms, and protecting wildlife in Monmouth County. For the past 39 years the organization has been steadfastly dedicated to preserving our quality of life in Monmouth County through access to nature.