UNH Hosts Pollinator Conservation Research Field Day July 30

“The interest in helping pollinators has been astounding. There are literally hundreds of pollinator gardens and habitats that have been installed in New Hampshire alone in the last few years.” -- Cathy Neal, researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and landscape horticulture specialist with UNH Cooperative Extension

Monday, June 10, 2019
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Interested in creating a wildflower meadow to support New Hampshire’s native pollinators? Come and learn fun, effective, and beautiful ways to enhance your local habitat and bring back pollinators Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station’s Woodman Horticultural Research Farm at the University of New Hampshire.

The field day “Connecting the Dots for Pollinator Conservation:  Wildflower Meadows and Pollinator Habitat” takes place from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the farm at 70 Spinney Lane, Durham. Whether you are a landowner, landscaper, gardener, farmer, concerned citizen or serve on a municipal board, land trust or other nonprofit, your actions and decisions are important to pollinator conservation. The event is free and open to the public.

“The interest in helping pollinators has been astounding. There are literally hundreds of pollinator gardens and habitats that have been installed in New Hampshire alone in the last few years,” said Cathy Neal, researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and landscape horticulture specialist with UNH Cooperative Extension.

Pollinators are essential for most of the fruit and vegetable crops produced in New England. The value of pollination to agriculture is estimated at more than $200 billion a year worldwide. However, the abundance of and diversity of pollinators are declining in landscapes across the United States.


Neal has conducted nearly 10 years of wildflower meadow          
trials at the experiment station’s Woodman Horticultural
Research Farm. She has found that wildflower meadows
comprised of a mixture of herbaceous perennials such as
golden rod, asters, black-eyed Susans, bergamot,
coneflowers and potentially many more, are extremely
 valuable places for bees to forage for food.

In addition, maintaining a robust and diverse natural environment requires healthy populations of pollinators. New Hampshire has a rich diversity of native bees that provide pollination services, often more efficiently than managed colonies of honey bees. However, habitat loss associated with land use changes is one of the leading threats to pollinators, along with climate change. Neal’s research focuses on how we can best provide safe habitat and a healthy food supply for native bees and other pollinators in gardens, fields, and neighborhoods.

Highlights of the field day include:

Research Field Tour
Neal will share results from 10 years of experiment station-funded research at the farm on wildflower meadow establishment, from site preparation to long-term maintenance. Staff from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation will help visitors identify native bees and discuss their habitat needs.

Connecting the Dots for Pollinator Conservation: From the Big Picture to the Backyard and the Back 40
Mace Vaughan, co-director, Pollinator Conservation and Agricultural Biodiversity Program, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, will address “Connecting the Dots for Pollinator Conservation: From the Big Picture to the Backyard and the Back 40.” Mace will discuss the growing number of efforts by which citizens, farmers, gardeners, researchers, and others are banding together to turn around the declines in pollinators.  

Expert Panel Discussion
A panel of experts from the Xerces Society, NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will address local policy issues and assistance available for private landowners. They also will provide updates on the N.H. Pollinator Plan, the 2019 legislative Bee Bill, cost share programs, and other efforts to conserve and protect pollinators at the local, state, and national levels.

Attendees are asked to register by calling 603-862-3200 or online at https://unh.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_diH2eqJogBRfphb.

This material is based upon work supported by the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, through joint funding of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 1010449, and the state of New Hampshire. This event is sponsored by the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, UNH Cooperative Extension, Xerces Society, and the Ecological Landscape Alliance, with support from the USDA Northeast Climate Hub.

Founded in 1887, the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture is UNH’s original research center and an elemental component of New Hampshire's land-grant university heritage and mission. We steward federal and state funding, including support from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to provide unbiased and objective research concerning diverse aspects of sustainable agriculture and foods, aquaculture, forest management, and related wildlife, natural resources and rural community topics. We maintain the Woodman and Kingman agronomy and horticultural research farms, the Macfarlane Research Greenhouses, the Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, and the Organic Dairy Research Farm. Additional properties also provide forage, forests and woodlands in direct support to research, teaching, and outreach.

 

Lori Wright, NH Agricultural Experiment Station