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If you ate today, you might want to thank a pollinator. From bees to butterflies to birds, pollinators are directly responsible for one out of every three bites of food we consume. They also facilitate the reproduction of roughly 80% of all flowering plants, including trees. In fact, pollinators contribute an estimated $217 billion to the global economy, supporting food and fiber production, clean air, and stable soil. These tiny creatures play a huge and vital role in sustaining the ecosystems on which life on earth depends. Wilkes County Soil and Water Conservation District is excited to give back to these pollinators by planting a pollinator plot.
The Pollinator Plot AKA: Conservation Cover, is a joint effort put together by The Wilkes Soil & Water Conservation District, in conjunction with The Wilkes Ag Extension, US Department of Agriculture-Natural Resource Conservation-National Water Quality Initiative, and The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission. The Town of North Wilkesboro also assisted in mowing the plot.
The project is being funded by a grant from UDSA-NRCS-NWQI with the intent to promote and encourage the planting of similar pollinator friendly Conservation Cover Crops not only within the NWQI section of Wilkes County, which includes the East and Middle Prong of the Roaring River, but in all of Wilkes County and surrounding areas. The mix was developed by Jason Smith Biologist with the NCWRC and is put together in such a way as to provide a food source for various pollinators throughout the year. "There should be something in bloom pretty much year round."
The Mix includes:
A planting demonstration had been planned, however, due to the current COVID-19 situation the field day had to be cancelled. There will be a field day scheduled for a later date when permitted. If successful we intend to host garden groups, landowners and others interested in this type wildlife/pollinator friendly planting.
After it is established, the plants should reseed themselves and continue to thrive not only as a food source for pollinators but as an enhanced wildlife environment.
A schedule for the planting was as follows:
The target rate of planting was between 6-10 pounds per acre and we actually planted approximately 8 pounds to the acre roughly 24 pounds on our 3-acre area.