Celebrate Pollinators During National Pollinator Week | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Celebrate Pollinators During National Pollinator Week

34th Annual Wildflower Show & Pollinator Festival are highlights of the week

The importance of pollinators is often overlooked. Bees, butterflies, moths, and beetles play a huge role in pollinating agricultural and horticultural plants, while bats and hummingbirds also get in on the pollination action, too.

click to enlarge Celebrate Pollinators During National Pollinator Week
Damian Fagan
A painted lady pauses for a garden visit.

This year's theme for National Pollinator Week 2024 is: "Vision 2040: Thriving ecosystems, economies, and agriculture," which shines a spotlight on the vital role pollinators play in these three sectors.

This year's celebration runs from June 17-23. Several Central Oregon events are helping create a "buzz" about pollinators.

Wildflower Show & Pollinator Festival

The 34th annual Wildflower Show & Pollinator Festival takes place Saturday, June 22 from 9am – 3pm at the Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory. SNCO and the High Desert Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon host this event that offers walks, talks and activities for everyone in the family.

"I'd love to see folks come away with an appreciation for the amazing floral diversity and beauty we have in Central Oregon, and to feel that preserving that diversity is worth doing, because we all benefit from the natural world around us," said Jill Kellogg, High Desert Chapter NPSO wildflower-pollinator show coordinator. "The contributions made by the High Desert Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon to the show are to collect plants for the show, to provide the expertise in identifying them and to answer questions at the show about the flowers."

click to enlarge Celebrate Pollinators During National Pollinator Week (2)
Damian Fagan
A honeybee, in search of nectar, hones in on a native plant.

The wildflower display showcases hundreds of native wildflowers collected by volunteers and labeled with identifications for event-goers to see the incredible diversity of native plants in the region.

"We will have native bee walks and short trips around the botanic garden and Sunriver to catch, view and observe some of the native pollinator species," said Kelli Neumann, SNCO program director. In addition to guided walks, there will be native plants for sale, provided by Great Basin Nursery, as well as educational stations, children's activities, volunteers from the Oregon Bee Atlas project and a special presentation at noon by Barb Rumer, president of Pollinator Pathway Bend, about nocturnal pollinators and their importance in the ecosystem.

Pollinator Pathway Bend will also provide information about selecting native plants to add to your backyard garden to attract pollinators, as well as incorporating other yard strategies such as rethinking lawn maintenance or eliminating harmful pesticides or herbicides to benefit these important creatures.

Worthy Environmental

The Worthy Garden Club hosts two walks during Pollinator Week. The June 20 Pollinator Walk will be held at Worthy Brewing from 10:30am – noon, and the second walk is at the Franklin's Corner Community Garden (520 NE 8th Street in Bend) on June 21, also from 10:30am – noon.

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Damian Fagan
An anise swallowtail pollinates a native wildflower.

"I will lead the walks and point out native plants and pollinators, and talk about their special relationship with each other as well as why we need to work to keep healthy populations of both," said Lisa Sanco, executive director of Worthy Environmental. "We'll have local experts on site, Jerry Freilich on the 20th and Pete and Gretchen Wilson on the 21st, with their insect collections and microscopes for those who want to take a closer look." The walks are kid friendly, but please leave dogs at home or in the car.

Deschutes Land Trust

The Land Trust offers two guided walks on different preserves during Pollinator Week — a great way to learn about native plants and habitats. Both walks will take place on June 22, one at the Metolius Preserve and the other at the Paulina Creek Preserve. Visit deschuteslandtrust.org to sign up for one of the hikes.

SNCO Wildflower Show & Pollinator Festival
Sat., June 22. 9am-3pm
Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory
57245 River Rd., Sunriver
General admission $12 adults/$10 children: SROA, NPSO, SRLP and veterans free

Damian Fagan

Damian Fagan is a freelance writer, outdoor enthusiast and avid birder. He is the author of several wildflower field guides including "Wildflowers of Oregon" and "Wildflowers of North America." Fagan lives in Bend with his wife, Raven, and a pollinator-friendly garden.
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