Mayor Allender declares Pollinator Week June 21-27

Proclamation & Mayor’s Monarch Pledge promotes awareness, importance of pollinators to community

RAPID CITY, S.D. Mayor Steve Allender has declared this week, June 21-27, as Pollinator Week in Rapid City, encouraging all residents to participate in activities that support and celebrate pollinator protection while addressing the urgency of declining pollinator populations.

            In February 2020, Rapid City became the first city in South Dakota to become a Bee City USA affiliate, supporting pollinator health and promoting awareness of the urgency of declining pollinator populations.  The City is also supporting the National Wildlife Federation’s 2021 Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to build awareness to the importance of pollinators and encourage efforts to create pollinator habitat in the community.

            Rapid City Pollinator Week is coordinated by the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department, the Rapid City Standing Committee on Sustainability, along with local beekeeping clubs and their members, and community volunteers.

            “Pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, bats, beetles and other insects, provide significant environmental benefits that are necessary for maintaining healthy, biodiverse ecosystems, which are essential to human life and the well-being of our community,” states Mayor Allender in his proclamation.

            “Pollinators are essential partners of farmers and ranchers in producing much of our food supply and also provide critical support for maintaining local plant species, wildlife, and community gardens.”

            According to the National Wildlife Federation, more than 85 percent of flowering plants require an insect for pollination, allowing for the production of fruit and seed.  These fruit and seeds are part of the diet of about 25 percent of all birds, and many mammals.  Each year, pollinators affect $577 billion in global crops, including $235 billion in the United States.

            Native bees pollinate an estimated 15 percent of US fruit, nut, vegetable and field crops, according to the Federation.

            In 1947, there were six million honey bee colonies or hives in the United States. By 2017, the numbers had dropped to 2.6 million colonies.  Additionally, there has been a nearly 90 percent decline in the number of Monarch Butterflies in the past quarter century.

            Mayor Allender’s proclamation also references the role pollination plays in the health of forests and grasslands by providing forage, fish and wildlife, timber, water, mineral resources and recreational and economic development opportunities

            The Rapid City Sustainability Committee and the City’s Parks and Recreation Department will host a booth at this Saturday’s Farmer’s Market to celebrate Pollinator Week and to also promote awareness of the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, which Mayor Allender signed earlier this year.  The Farmer’s Market is held Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Market Park, 245 E. Omaha Street.

            The Mayors’ Monarch Pledge is promoted by the National Wildlife Federation and brings together mayors, officials and leaders of local and tribal governments for a national and local commitment to take action to save the monarch butterfly by creating habitat for the monarch butterfly and pollinators and to educate residents about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.

Categories: Local News