National Pollinator Week is an annual event celebrated June 19-25, 2023, to support and promote pollinator health.

From monitoring pollinators at risk of being endangered to maintaining the habitats pollinators thrive in, SCA participants work year-round to protect these vital members of the ecosystem. SCA staff, leaders and volunteers also work alongside our partners to educate local communities on the importance of pollinators and ways they can help.

Meet the Pollinators

Pollinators are animals that transfer pollen from one flower to another, allowing the plant to be fertilized and create seeds to reproduce. This includes bees or butterflies, as well as birds, bats, moths and more.

Most pollinators are threatened by habitat loss along a variety of other factors. Rare species like the Karner blue butterfly are endangered because of habitat destruction leading to population declines. At Huron-Manistee National Forests, SCA interns are conducting vegetative surveys to estimate acreage of suitable habitat and counts to estimate the abundance of Karner blue butterflies.

Karner blue butterfly.
Female Karner blue butterfly. (Jill Utrup/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

There are also nocturnal pollinators that many plant species in warmer and tropical climates rely on for survival. Just as birds and bees do, bats collect nectar as they travel to different plants, all transferring pollen on their fur to each plant along the way. In the Southwestern United States, bat pollination is critical for desert plants like Saguaro and Organ Pipe cacti that only bloom at night.

Blooming cactus
Saguaro cactus in bloom.

SCA interns are currently working at sites within the Sonoran Desert Network to monitor vegetation and evaluate the health of ecosystems that are essential for pollinators like the Lesser long-nosed bat.

Get Involved

Wildflower seed balls are great for a family-friendly, at-home activity. These clusters of seeds wrapped in a ball of soil and clay that you can throw in areas where traditional planting is difficult are the perfect way to create a pollinator paradise. You can toss them right in your own backyard or “plant” in a pot on your windowsill. For instructions on how to make your own seed ball, watch this short video created by an SCA alum!

Seedballs created at an SCA service event.

In North America, hummingbirds are by far the most common bird pollinators. To support their high metabolisms, hummingbirds eat several times their weight in nectar daily. Attract these beautiful and entertaining birds to your garden by planting brightly colored tube-shaped flowers.

Hummingbird. (Robert Kester)