AmericanHort and HRI Celebrate A Million Pollinator Gardens
AmericanHort and our foundation, the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), joined with co-founders of the National Pollinator Garden Network and others to announce the achievement of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. The goal of a million gardens to help sustain the health of diverse pollinator populations was not only achieved, but it was also exceeded. Here are a few of the key metrics that were announced in a February 26 press conference:
- In just three years, 1,040,000 gardens were registered;
- An estimated eight million people contributed to the goal;
- The million-plus gardens add up to a network of approximately five million acres of enhanced or new pollinator habitat.
The press conference highlighted research findings that the impact of these small-scale pollinator gardens has added significant support to pollinator abundance and diversity. It also highlighted significant efforts within the horticultural and garden trade to make pollinator-friendly plants available, to fund and influence research on how horticultural industry practices may affect pollinator health, and to advance best practices. AmericanHort board member Seth Reed of GrowIt!, and staff team members Jill Calabro, PhD, Jennifer Gray, and Craig Regelbrugge contributed to the press event and subsequent virtual meeting of the 50 or so organizations to highlight how this effort connects with a gardening trend toward “planting with purpose.”
Recent surveys by AmericanHort and the Garden Center Group reveal that since the campaign launch, 92 percent of garden centers have seen an increase in demand for pollinator-friendly plants and services and 86 percent are offering more pollinator-friendly plants, services, and education.
The recent announcement concluded with a new call to action. The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge will encourage the 35 million or so Americans who garden with flowers to diversify their gardens by adding pollinator-friendly plants that ensure blooms during three seasons – spring, summer, and fall.