The Sunflower Project volunteers participated in the North Branford High School Environmental Fair, attended by staff and students of the High School and other organizations that share Ecosystem concerns.
Many of the students were aware of The North Branford Sunflower Project from our Facebook page (Destination North Branford, Sunflower Project) and some 50 of them took home Sunflower seeds. In a conversation with a group of students, we discussed why we were we offering pollinator friendly seeds.
In a report in Science, Robert Watson, Chairman of the UN- backed, Intergovernmental Sciences Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem (I.P.B.E.S.) pointed to pollinators as one group of organisms that humans can’t readily do without. Ninety per cent of flowering plants and seventy per cent of all types of food crops rely on pollination by animals- birds, bats and (mostly) insects.
In many regions, important pollinators, like native bees, are in decline. As much as six billion dollars’ worth of annual agricultural production “is at risk as a result of pollinator loss”, the I.P.B.E.S. warned and that total pollinator loss would decrease production of the most important dependent crops ‘by more than 90 per cent”
So that is why our Sunflower Project uses pollinator seeds, which are not genetically modified; the sunflowers we all plant in North Branford & Northford will attract, birds, bees and other insects and produce pollinated seeds that can be dried, stored and planted next year. …and make our local bees, farmers and visitors smile!
Roger Salway – Economic Development Coordinator
Town of North Branford