Have You Helped a Pollinator Today?

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Next time you enjoy fruits, vegetables or even chocolate, you might consider – have you helped a pollinator today?

In celebration of National Pollinator Week, we share our story on how we partnered with the Xerces Society to enhance pollinator habitat on Government Island on the Columbia River.

Pollinators are bees, butterflies, insects and even birds that provide vital ecosystem services for crops and create a resilient food web.

In fall 2015, we enhanced a 50-acre grassland area on the island by seeding 630 pounds of native wildflower and grass and hand-planting 2,000 Camas bulbs to support pollinators. This was one of the largest restoration projects ever on an island in the Columbia River. The Government Island grassland mitigation project resulted from the Airport Futures planning process, which looked at how to plan for natural resources given future Portland International Airport development needs.

In designing the enhancement, we took an innovative approach by conducting research in partnership with the Xerces Society. They monitored pollinators before and after site enhancement to understand how establishing native grasses and wildflowers would change the diversity and abundance of pollinators.

This research is just one of many of our projects to support pollinators. At the Vanport Wetlands mitigation site, over a dozen mason bee houses and wildflower plantings provide a home and nectar. A partnership with Stumptown Bees conducts research on honeybee hives, and our team maintains a hive on the eco-roof at our headquarters.

Learn ways you can help a pollinator today by visiting Pollinator Partnership.