Birds, bees, bats, and other pollinators are in significant decline across the country and around the world. Yet, nearly 80% of the world's crops require pollination, including fruits, vegetables, chocolate, and tequila. Without pollinators, there would be no tomato salads, no strawberry smoothies, no Hershey’s Kisses™, and no margaritas. One out of every three mouthfuls of food we eat and beverages we drink is the result of pollinator activity. In the United States, insects pollinate crops that produce between $20 billion and $30 billion worth of products annually!
Why are Pollinators Important to DoD?
Pollinators are vital to installation landscapes and to carrying out the military mission. Many of the federally-listed and at-risk species located on military installations are pollinators, including species of bees, bats, butterflies, and flowering plants that require pollination.
Without pollinators, native landscapes might become barren, or be overrun by invasive species. Declines of at-risk species might translate into access restrictions, which in turn could reduce the military's capacity to test and train.
Diverse native plant communities are frequently more resilient to impacts from training activities than poorer quality habitats. Native plant communities (which may depend heavily on pollinators) resist erosion from tank maneuvers, are resilient to fire, and provide realistic and safe training environments for soldiers.
To meet both its readiness and stewardship obligations, DoD cares about pollinators and works to benefit their populations.
What You Can Do to Help!
Gardens and other landscapes can feed and shelter pollinators, especially in developed and degraded areas. Here are some tips for small actions that can have a huge collective impact:
Plant native species in your garden, or create patio gardens with potted native plants. Avoid hybrids (e.g., tea roses) and sterile non-natives (e.g., tulips).
Reduce or eliminate chemical fertilizers, especially those that are aerially dispersed.
Visit your farmer’s market and buy locally grown, organic products.
Buy organic bananas and other organic products at the grocery store.
Buy shade-friendly coffee.
Relinquish mosquito zappers.
Reduce lawn grass area, since grass provides nearly no ecological benefit. Plant native shrubs and flowering plants instead. They use less water, are low maintenance, are aesthetically pleasing, and provide great habitat for pollinators.
National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day, the nation's largest, single day volunteer effort for public lands, will take place Saturday, September 28, 2019
POLLINATOR NEWS: A total of 26 National Public Lands Day projects were funded in 2018. Approximately 300 pollinator-projects have been funded since 1999.
National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) in Washington, DC.
NEEF provides applications, outreach and media materials, an Event Manager’s Site Manual, guidance, advice, and more to event managers.
Since 1999, the DoD Legacy Resource Management Program has funded more than 500 NPLD projects on DoD installations across the country.
The DoD Legacy Program received a 1999 Hammer Award from then Vice President Gore for its participation in, and support of, NPLD.
Thousands of volunteers, both civilian and military, have participated in NPLD projects on military lands. DoD installations can request for up to $9,500 per project for materials, equipment, and supplies to implement NPLD efforts.
National Public Lands Day (NPLD) DoD Legacy
2018: There were 26 projects Final Report and Fact Sheet
2017: There were 28 projects Final Report and Fact Sheet
2016: There were 26 projects, 22 of which focused on pollinators. Final Report and Fact Sheet
2015: There were 30 projects, 26 of which focused on pollinators. Final Report and Fact Sheet
2014: There were 25 projects, 19 of which focused on pollinators. Final Report and Fact Sheet
2013: There were 30 projects, 22 of which focused on pollinators. Final Report and Fact Sheet
2012: There were 36 projects, 27 of which focused on pollinators. Final Report and Fact Sheet
2011: There were 42 projects, 28 of which focused on pollinators. Final Report and Fact Sheet
2010: There were 48 projects, 17 of which focused on pollinators. Final Report and Fact Sheet
2009: There were 51 projects, 35 of which focused on pollinators. Final Report
2008: There were 37 projects, 16 of which focused on pollinators. Final Report
2007: There were 34 projects, 11 of which focused on pollinators. Final Report
2006: There were 27 projects, 14 of which focused on pollinators. Final Report
Click Here for pollinator-related service project ideas for National Public Lands Day. Consider these service ideas for NPLD on September 28, 2019
DoD Funded Projects
DoD has been involved in promoting pollinator and pollinator habitat conservation efforts on its lands for 15 years.
From the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
Native Pollinators and Native Plants
- U.S. Air Force Pollinator Conservation Reference Guide [6.95 MB]
The two appendices for the U.S. Air Force Pollinator Conservation Reference Guide can be found on the FWS webpage at https://www.fws.gov/pollinators/PollinatorPages/USAF_Ref_Guide.html .