Habitat & Conservation  |  06/16/2024

Every Square Inch Matters: Pollinator Week 2024


Pollinator habitat benefits creatures great and small... and people too

By Tom Carpenter, Pheasants Forever Journal editor

Check out the 2024 Pollinator Week Habitat Planting Kit

Whether it’s 400, 40 or 4 acres… or 4 square feet… pollinator habitat makes this world a better place.

Of course, on the big end of that scale, the pheasants and quail that we love use that wildflower habitat for nesting in late spring and early summer, rearing broods in summer, and evading predators in fall and even into winter.

planting kit

But I have preached that into your noggin many a time.

It is one reason Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make such a big deal of Pollinator Week, June 17-23 this year.

But there’s more. And, in the case of butterflies, bees and other pollinators, (bold-iridescent beetles, flashy flies, fluttering moths and sprightly songbirds anyone?) it doesn’t take much in terms of square footage to make a difference. A real difference.

planting seedling

Any yard, every yard, can spare a corner or two (or more) for pollinators.

I am probably nearing a quarter-acre of pollinator wildflower habitat. If I am not hunting, fishing or hiking with Lark, it is in my pollinator patches that I want to be. There is always something to do, something to see. It smells like pheasant country and quail meadows: a little patch of prairie escape at home.

A few days ago, I had a milkweed volunteering into the grass. What the heck: I dug around it carefully, carried it into the adjoining pollinator patch and re-planted it with a little mulch around the base. It took! At sometime, it will have a monarch on it nectaring, and maybe even a golden-jewel monarch egg on one the leaves’ undersides.

One milkweed. One square inch of ground.

monarch on milkweed

Joining (or renewing with) PF & QF during Pollinator Week supports pollinators as it supports pheasants and quail. With donations made this week, you’ll get a free Native Pollinator Plant Habitat Kit that includes 6 native wildflower plugs, a pollinator habitat sign, a special sticker and a handy e-planting guide, along with your annual membership. It’s a start to, or a continuation of, a joyous journey.

Small is good. But you’ll also be a part of huge initiatives and undertakings, like PF & QF’s ongoing push for a North American Grasslands Conservation Act and all the other habitat restoration and protection we do across the country.

I’ve got some big gentle bumblebees outside hitting a couple early coneflower blooms, see ya later.

honeybee on purple flower

Tom “Carp” Carpenter edits Pheasants Forever Journal when he isn’t pollinator gardening or hunting roosters with Lark in the wildflower stems of fall.

Backyard pollinator plots can help bridge gaps in native habitat, which benefits upland birds. That’s why Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have partnered with other concerned organizations – Corteva, Bayer, Syngenta, Monarch Joint Venture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, and many others – to assure the future of pollinators and pollinator habitat.

honeybee on purple flower