Mt. Sterling, Ohio. – In an effort to support outdoor education and diverse wildlife habitat for the future of pollinators and upland gamebirds, the Deer Creek Chapter of Pheasants Forever has partnered with The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland: Logan Valley Service Unit to deliver the organization’s signature “Youth Pollinator Habitat Program” at Deer Creek State Park. Pheasants Forever and the Girl Scouts gathered on April 28th at the Army Corps of Engineers’ Deer Creek State Park visitor center to plant a native prairie while learning about pollinators, plants, and prairie ecosystems.
The program’s objectives are to increase awareness about declining grassland wildlife populations (including pheasants, quail, and pollinating insects), educate the general public on the importance of pollinator habitat, and establish quality pollinator habitat throughout the country. Local Pheasants Forever chapters and their partners are working with communities to create habitat projects that involve youth, school, and community groups.
“This is yet another way that Pheasants Forever helps influence the conservation leaders of the future beyond banquets and designated youth events,” stated Margie Snoke, President for the Deer Creek Chapter of Pheasants Forever and volunteer for the joint pollinator project. “This pollinator area is helping to restore critical habitat for monarch butterflies, honey bees, and grassland songbirds, while serving as an educational opportunity for visitors to the Army Corps of Engineers’ visitor center – a win-win situation for everyone involved.”
Approximately one-third of all food consumed by humans is delivered by pollinators; including fruits, vegetables, nuts and coffee. Habitat necessary for rapidly declining populations of honey bees and monarch butterflies is also the very same diverse grassland and prairie flower habitat necessary for pheasants, quail, and a host of other wildlife species. Likewise, the insects produced in this habitat are the primary food source for pheasant and quail chicks during their first months of life.
Pheasants Forever’s Youth Habitat Pollinator Program is made possible by funding support from DuPont Pioneer, Monarch Joint Venture, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, Bayer Bee Care, and the organization’s local volunteer chapters.