As the health of the environment declines, organizations around the world try to educate the population about pollinators and their vital role in creating the Earth habitable for all organisms — including humans.
Pollinator Fest will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m Saturday at Reiman Gardens as a way to involve and educate the Ames community on the importance of pollinators and methods to help increase their impact for the environment.
The event will celebrate National Pollinator Week, which began Monday.
National Pollinator Week was unanimously approved to be observed in June, 12 years ago by the U.S. Senate. Since the approval, National Pollinator Week has become internationally recognized.
National Pollinator Week was initiated by national organization, Pollinator Partnership, with the goal to educate the population about pollinators and how to protect them. According to the official website, recognizing the week was a necessary step to address the declining population of pollinators.
Nathan Brockman, curator for the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing and one of the organizers for Pollinator Fest, said this event is a way for the Ames and Iowa State community to learn about pollinators.
"Just learning that pollinators have a place that is important to us actually insects as a whole have a place," Brockman said. "They're all important to us, even if we don't think so."
The purpose of National Pollinator Week is to educate the community about pollinators, such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles, and their impact towards the environment.
Brockman also said pollinators have a vital role in the ecosystem.
"If we all disappear, insects will do just fine without us," Brockman said. "If insects all disappeared we wouldn't be far behind them."
Pollinator Fest will include a combination of pollinator-themed activities and observing the various organisms that contribute to the ecosystem.
The activities will include educational videos about pollinators, observing a honey bee hive and the Insect Zoo, crafts and tasting pollen or honey. Community members and students will also have the opportunity to talk to experts about pollinators and browse their booths.
Brockman said there will be booths scattered throughout the garden, involving all the different collaborators. Brockman will be hosting a booth covering Iowa Butterflies and how to rear them.
The collaborators of Pollinator Fest will include Iowa State University Pollinator Working Group, Entomology Graduate Student Organization, Graduates in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, Blank Park Zoo and Ames High School.
The event will continue rain or shine, and admission to Reiman Gardens will be free.