3 Tennessee Departments Partner In Support And Celebration Of Pollinators

Monday, June 21, 2021

In conjunction with National Pollinator Week (June 21-25), the Tennessee Departments of
Transportation, Environment & Conservation and Agriculture want to promote pollinator health and
awareness in Tennessee State Parks.

In June 2019, the three agencies announced a partnership with 64 acres of pollinator meadows at eight state parks. Since that time, meadows have been planted, and new public education signage has been installed to interpret each location:

- Pickwick Landing;
- Paris Landing;
- Big Hill Pond;
- Montgomery Bell;
- Seven Islands;
- Henry Horton;
- Sycamore Shoals; and
- Warriors Path.

Each blooming meadow contains a mix of nectar-bearing plants and milkweed, which sustain pollinators. The meadows also assist with TDEC's Honey Project, which allows the public to purchase honey harvested annually within each park. For more information about TDEC's "The Honey Project", visit https://tnstateparks.com/honey-project.

"TDOT is excited about this partnership," said Commissioner Clay Bright. "This effort is an excellent way to educate the public about the threats to pollinators and a valuable part of TDOT's Pollinator Habitat Programming."

Pollinators are a mix of animals, such as bees, moths, butterflies, birds and small mammals, such as bats, which carry pollen between plants' male and female parts. They are vitally important to maturing crops and growing food. Unfortunately, pollinators are in steady decline because of habitat loss, pests and pathogens, exposure to pesticides and other stressors.

"This has proved to be an excellent collaboration for TDEC with the departments of Transportation and Agriculture," TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. "Pollinators are important for agriculture and the environment, and this initiative contributes to the natural beauty of our state. It also blends in well with the Honey Project in our state parks."

"Like farmers, pollinators are hard workers and we depend on them for our healthy and abundant food supply," Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. "Tennessee has more than 6,000 licensed apiaries statewide. We appreciate the numerous beekeepers dedicated to the well-being of these vital insects. TDA is pleased to join TDOT and TDEC in highlighting the importance of protecting bees and other pollinators."

National Pollinator Week is June 21-25 and is a nationwide effort at building awareness and attention to the steps everyone can take to protect and restore pollinator populations. Follow @myTDOT on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for our Pollinator Week social media campaign. Pollinators are critically important to life, growing food and the economy of Tennessee. For more information about TDOT's Pollinator Habitat Program, visit https://tnpollinator.org or
www.tn.gov/tdot/environmental-home/environmental-highway-beautification-office/beautification-
pollinator-habitat-program.


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