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Healthy Yards to celebrate Pollinator Week on Austin Peay’s campus

To celebrate Pollinator Week, Clarksville’s sustainability organization Healthy Yards is hosting a family-friendly event to raise awareness for local wildlife pollinators at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 22, at the Austin Peay State University (APSU) Outdoor Education Center, 530 York St.  The event will include fun activities and crafts for children and opportunities to learn about pollinators in the area.  “Kids are the future,” said Alexandra Wills, director of the APSU Office of Community Outreach and Sustainability, when asked about the importance of raising awareness about native plants and pollinators in Clarksville. “Getting our kids on board with thinking differently about our yards, homes and where we live by incorporating and including all of the insects and other little creatures is probably the best step we can take to think sustainably about our community.” Healthy Yards will discuss the identification and importance of native bees in Clarksville, followed by a native plant giveaway. Each family will receive one plant that helps attract native butterflies and bees to the area. Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts will attend to announce the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, which focuses on protecting native pollinators in Clarksville, specifically bees and monarch butterflies. Through initiatives like Healthy Yards, Clarksville hopes to address monarch butterflies’ declining population in the United States. "In 2022, monarchs were listed as federally endangered in the United States and, in the Eastern U.S., their populations have gone down by at least 80%,” said Michelle Rogers, outreach and environmental education coordinator for the Center of Excellence for Field Biology. “It’s because of habitat loss and pesticide use. The mayor has signed on to agree to do things that will help Clarksville provide more habitat for monarchs.”  This is a free event that requires no pre-registration. Children and adults of all ages are welcome. Parking for the event is on the corner of Forbes and Robb avenues, and signs will be posted to direct traffic.  In addition to Celebrating Pollinators, Healthy Yards is hosting other events throughout June to raise awareness and support for local wildlife. As part of Pollinator Week, Healthy Yards will have events such as “Community Garden Workday” and “We Grow Wednesday” on June 21. They will also celebrate “Pollinator Count Day” and provide an ecology-based pollinator walk on June 23. To finish the week, Healthy Yards will honor Pollinator Day at the downtown farmers market, featuring a native plant giveaway, and a pollinator hike on June 24.  Rogers explained the significance of insects and native plants in Clarksville, which Healthy Yards events aim to promote.  “If you want to have healthy ecosystems, you have to have insects,” she said. “If you want to have insects, you have to have native plants. You have to have them for the rest of the ecosystem we all depend on – for food security, for clean water, for clean air, it all happens because of healthy ecosystems.”  For further information on Healthy Yards and its upcoming events, see the resources below: https://www.facebook.com/HealthyYardsCMC/ https://www.apsu.edu/field-biology/healthy-yards.php

(Posted on Monday, June 12, 2023)

To celebrate Pollinator Week, Clarksville’s sustainability organization Healthy Yards is hosting a family-friendly event to raise awareness for local wildlife pollinators at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 22, at the Austin Peay State University (APSU) Outdoor Education Center, 530 York St.

The event will include fun activities and crafts for children and opportunities to learn about pollinators in the area.

“Kids are the future,” said Alexandra Wills, director of the APSU Office of Community Outreach and Sustainability, when asked about the importance of raising awareness about native plants and pollinators in Clarksville. “Getting our kids on board with thinking differently about our yards, homes and where we live by incorporating and including all of the insects and other little creatures is probably the best step we can take to think sustainably about our community.”

Healthy Yards will discuss the identification and importance of native bees in Clarksville, followed by a native plant giveaway. Each family will receive one plant that helps attract native butterflies and bees to the area. Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts will attend to announce the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, which focuses on protecting native pollinators in Clarksville, specifically bees and monarch butterflies.

Through initiatives like Healthy Yards, Clarksville hopes to address monarch butterflies’ declining population in the United States.

"In 2022, monarchs were listed as federally endangered in the United States and, in the Eastern U.S., their populations have gone down by at least 80%,” said Michelle Rogers, outreach and environmental education coordinator for the Center of Excellence for Field Biology. “It’s because of habitat loss and pesticide use. The mayor has signed on to agree to do things that will help Clarksville provide more habitat for monarchs.”

This is a free event that requires no pre-registration. Children and adults of all ages are welcome. Parking for the event is on the corner of Forbes and Robb avenues, and signs will be posted to direct traffic.

In addition to Celebrating Pollinators, Healthy Yards is hosting other events throughout June to raise awareness and support for local wildlife. As part of Pollinator Week, Healthy Yards will have events such as “Community Garden Workday” and “We Grow Wednesday” on June 21. They will also celebrate “Pollinator Count Day” and provide an ecology-based pollinator walk on June 23. To finish the week, Healthy Yards will honor Pollinator Day at the downtown farmers market, featuring a native plant giveaway, and a pollinator hike on June 24.

Rogers explained the significance of insects and native plants in Clarksville, which Healthy Yards events aim to promote.

“If you want to have healthy ecosystems, you have to have insects,” she said. “If you want to have insects, you have to have native plants. You have to have them for the rest of the ecosystem we all depend on – for food security, for clean water, for clean air, it all happens because of healthy ecosystems.”

For further information on Healthy Yards and its upcoming events, see the resources below:

https://www.facebook.com/HealthyYardsCMC/

https://www.apsu.edu/field-biology/healthy-yards.php

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