The Pollination = Preservation Project originated in 2013 and has taken hold in the Keep Loup Basin Beautiful area in a big way!!! Since its creation thirty-two (32) gardens have been certified through the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) and maintained from Wood River north to Burwell and from Bartlett west to Dunning. This corridor is now better known as the “Butterfly Byway”. These gardens have played an important role ecologically through providing migratory butterfly, bee, fly, and beetle species with nectar and larval food sources. In addition they have played an integral part economically for many of the towns who have gardens present. Visitors, groups, hobbyists, and naturalists have utilized these gardens as a way to enjoy nature and see many different insect species all while receiving an education on how important pollinators are to our environment!!!
The direct link to garden location can be found on the NABA website at http://nababutterfly.com/
The Pollination = Preservation Project was possible thanks to a $62,500.00 grant awarded to the Loup Basin Resource Conservation & Development Council from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. It was one of 132 projects that received funding and focused on increasing pollinator populations and education along the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway through development and restoration of flower/pollinator gardens.
The Pollination = Preservation Project has been a group endeavor and has incorporated many entities over the years. Examples of how much work has went into cooperation can be found below. All the entities involved played an integral part in the projects success!!!
On October 15, 2015 an email from Katie Nieland, Assistant Director/Communications Coordinator, Center for Great Plains Studies informed the members of the Great Plains Ecotourism that the Coalition’s website http://visittheprairie.com/ now has a new look with a new feature that plots ecotourism routes through the state. To celebrate, there’s a new piece on the “stories” page written by Sarah Sortum of Calamus Outfitters about looking for monarch butterflies in the Sandhills.
On November 22, 2015 an email form Richard Edwards, Director, Center for Great Plains Studies informed the members of the great Plains Ecotourism Coalition that here was a big spread in today’s(Sunday’s) Omaha World Herald on Katie Nieland’s Ecotourism posters. The online version is available here: http://www.omaha.com/living/
The Loup Rivers Scenic Byway received a new poster booklet from the Center for Great Plains Studies. The poster booklet pairs the poster with 12 essays written by conservationists (including Michael Forsberg and Paul Johnsgard!) The poster booklet will be available to buy at the Great Plains Art Museum and very soon online.
Keep America Beautiful (KAB) has partnered with the Million Pollinator Gardens (http://millionpollinatorgardens.org/partners/). The direct link to KAB’s involvement can be found at https://www.kab.org/search/node/million%20pollinator%20gardens.