Pollinator garden challenge

Here's a most worthy goal: let's all create pollinator gardens to help reverse the alarming decline of pollinators around the world.

The National Wildlife Federation has joined forces with the National Pollinator Garden Network to encourage "hundreds of thousands of gardeners, horticultural professionals, schools and volunteers to help reach a million pollinator gardens by the end of 2016," according to the press release I received.

It goes on to say that "any individual can contribute by planting for pollinators and certifying their habitat.Every habitat of every size counts, from window boxes and garden plots to farm borders, golf courses, school gardens, corporate and university campuses. Everywhere we live, work, play and worship can, with small improvements, offer essential food and shelter for pollinators."

So what can you do?

For starters, you can visit the NWF's Garden for Wildlife website to learn more about how you can make your garden more friendly to pollinators. This includes tips on what to plant, the types of shelter to provide, having water sources available and eliminating pesticide use. This website also has information on how you can get your garden certified as a Certified Wildlife Habitat.

I love the idea of getting schoolyard gardens involved in this as well as corporate America!

You might recall that my husband, Bill, and I recently built an "insect hotel." (here's a link to a video of that project on my YouTube channel)

I also wrote a column about it for The Spokesman-Review. The video and column just might give you some ideas.

In addition, I planted a section of my vegetable garden with pollinator-friendly plants about a month ago so I am really trying to do what I can to help out.

On March 15, I had another column in The Spokesman-Review on welcoming beneficial insects to the garden. Be sure to take a look at that for more information and encouragement!

Let's all do what we can to turn this problem around. I know we gardeners can be a force for change!