Amid the construction cranes, tall buildings and mammoth shopping centers of South Florida, there’s a vibrant but declining natural world of pollinators that are essential to native habitats and keeping our backyards colorful and healthy.
Broward and Palm Beach county parks want you to help locate these pollinators that still find a home among us, namely bees, bats and butterflies, and post pictures of them online, in coordination with the national Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz campaign. Throughout September, the campaign seeks to spread the word about the importance of pollinators as well as the role of parks in preserving their terrain.
Pollinators carry pollen from plant to plant and are critical to plant reproduction, clean air and the food we eat. The Federal Pollinator Health Task Force reports that the pollinator population in the United States has been shrinking at a startling rate of 30% annually in the past 30 years.
Local residents are encouraged to visit the iNaturalist website (inaturalist.org) or app on their phones and post what they’re seeing not only in parks but also natural areas, backyards and anywhere else they spot these little creatures.
The parks departments are also offering several programs to honor the pollinators.
Broward parks are having guided hikes to find pollinators. Each park has a $1.50 per person gate entrance fee for events hosted on the weekends; children age 5 and younger have free entry. For more details, go to webtrac.broward.org.
- 10 a.m. Sept. 2 at Markham Park, 16001 W. State Road 84, Sunrise; 954-357-8868
- 9 a.m. Sept. 9 at Quiet Waters Park, 401 S. Powerline Road, Deerfield Beach; 954-357-5100
- 9 a.m. Sept. 13 at Miramar Pineland, 3600 S. University Drive, Miramar; 954-357-8776
- 9 a.m. Sept. 23 at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium, 3700 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill; 954-357-5400
PALM BEACH COUNTY
Learn about and search for butterflies and caterpillars at these Palm Beach County park events. Reservations required.
- Butterfly Talk & Walk: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 23 at Green Cay Nature Center, 12800 Hagen Ranch Road, Boynton Beach; 561-966-7000; $3 per participant
- Butterfly Gardening: 10:30 a.m. Sept. 23 at Daggerwing Nature Center, 11435 Park Access Road, Boca Raton; 561-629-8760
- Caterpillar Crawl & Craft: 10:30 a.m. Sept. 30 at Okeeheelee Nature Center, 7715 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-233-1400