Our activities at MGC all align with this overall initiative. While much has been done to promote awareness of the importance of all pollinators to the overall health of our eco-system and to Michigan’s agriculture/floriculture industry, it is incumbent on each and every one of us to stand up and BEE counted for recognizing and acting upon the fundamental importance of pollinators and what each of us CAN do, as individuals, to provide pollinator habitats, to preserve and protect one of our most important natural resources.
Michigan Pollinator Gardens
There are many things we can all do to create or improve pollinator habitats:
• Minimize or eliminate the use of pesticides in our gardens.
• Amend the soil to make it healthier.
• Plant native plants when possible.
• Recognize the need for and plant both host and nectar plants for a variety of pollinators.
If you are implementing these practices and want to show off your garden your can order a pollinator sign here. You can use it in you garden or a Public Garden.
When we measure our progress in creating pollinator habitat (pollinator gardens), we acknowledge and celebrate the impact that each of us has on creating a better environment. Therefore, a key tangible and measurable component of our effort is to register our gardens at www.millionpollinatorgardens.org.
Michigan Garden Clubs offers many specific programs and activities designed to help draw attention to the importance of pollinators so that together we can create an environment where they can thrive.
We have an impact when we teach not only our youth about pollinators, but also our communities, and our legislators. While more difficult to measure than the number of pollinator gardens created, these efforts have a huge potential to make a lasting difference and fundamental change in how the public thinks about pollinators and connects them with the health of our environment. To that end, we promote working with youth and other organizations to teach an appreciation of gardening and the environment.
Using a specific pollinator as a teaching example is an effective way to educate both our citizens and our youth about the importance of pollinators. Butterflies are both beautiful and important to our ecosystem. The Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) is especially important to Michigan. It is found throughout the entire state and it is a permanent resident of Michigan. It does not leave in the winter as many butterflies do. The Black Swallowtail overwinters in Michigan as a pupa, making it a great butterfly for school groups to study. Each Black Swallowtail lives 2+ weeks, with 2-3 generations per year.
Butterflies contribute to thriving ecosystems and are great pollinators. Not only are they objects of beauty in our world but they are a source of food for birds, reptiles, mammals and other insects. Butterflies are harbingers of the fragility of life on our planet. They are particularly sensitive to changes in our environment from the use of harmful pesticides and the loss natural habitat areas.
The Mission of Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc. is to promote environmental responsibility. We celebrate the presence and value of butterflies; particularly, our full-time resident butterfly, the Black Swallowtail.
For more educational information, Contact:
Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc. supports SB 167 and HB 4314 which designates the Black Swallowtail as the official State of Michigan Butterfly. These identical bills were introduced both in the
Senate and the House. MGC supports pollinators and butterflies of all types, but the Black Swallowtail is the best choice to be the State symbol. Did you know that 48 of 50 States have an official state butterfly, state insect or both The Surprising Stories behind Michigan’s State Symbols. MGC believes that Michigan should join those other states and celebrate the presence and value of butterflies by passing both bills The link below allows members to register their support SB 167.
We encourage all members and their associates to write, call or email their senators and representatives to support these bills. Additional information and updates are available in the links below.
Look up your Senator Here
Look up your Representative Here
David R. Drain, Legislation Chair
Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc