Wyoming County Master Gardeners Take Action to Protect Pollinators

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The Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Wyoming County are taking action to protect pollinators with three programs this summer designed to educate the community on the importance of native plants to preserving butterfly and bee biodiversity. Want to learn more? Look for the Master Gardeners at these local events.

On Saturday, July 23, the Master Gardeners will host an exhibit at Tunkhannock’s annual River Day at Riverside Park, 1 pm to 7 pm. Learn why pollinators are important, the benefits of native plants to pollinators, and how to incorporate native plants and shrubs in home landscape designs. Take home garden design templates and complimentary pollinator-friendly flower seed. Master Gardeners will also be available to answer home gardening questions and share information on Spotted Lanternfly identification and management.

Later this month the Master Gardeners begin participation in the final year of a three-year study for Penn State Extension’s statewide Pollinator Preferences Program, to help guide homeowners and gardeners on the best flower varieties to attract and support native pollinators. The study plot, located adjacent to the Tunkhannock Public Library, is one of 26 in the state. The current three-year study is designed to gather data on the attractiveness of Joe Pye, a native herbaceous flowering plant, to various Pennsylvania butterflies. The study plot was also designed to provide a waystation for migrating monarchs using four different species of Goldenrod. Observations collected during the first two years of the study found that Joe Pye is attractive to a variety of Pennsylvania butterflies. However, data collected on the four species of Goldenrod found that it did not meet the study’s goal of providing a waystation of migrating butterflies, though Master Gardeners observed a high number of honeybees, bumble bees, carpenter bees, wasps, and other pollinating insects. This final year of the study provides an opportunity for Master Gardeners to practice identification skills using the iNaturalist application and to establish a record of all pollinators visiting the study plot.

Visit the 2022 Wyoming County Fair, Aug. 31 to Sept. 5, for the debut of the Master Gardeners’ Pollinator Friendly Garden Project, funded in part by the Wyoming County Room Tax and the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau. The permanent outdoor exhibit highlights the importance of pollinators to agriculture, a centerpiece of the County Fair. Visitors to the exhibit will see a selection of native plants providing nectar and pollen sources, host plants for butterfly larvae, and a handmade insect house. Master Gardeners will be on site to educate visitors on the steps to create and certify a pollinator-friendly garden.

Interested in becoming a Certified Master Gardener? The Wyoming County program is currently accepting applications for the next Master Gardener Basic Training course. Master Gardeners are volunteer garden educators who play an active part in delivering the outreach mission of Penn State Extension. To learn more and to request an application, contact Melissa Wright at 570-836-3196 or wyomingmg@psu.edu. For additional information, please visit https://extension.psu.edu/programs/master-gardener/counties/wyoming.

Penn State Extension Wyoming County is located at 71 Hollow Crest Rd, Ste 2, Tunkhannock, PA 18657.

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce.


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