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Penn State Master Gardeners Receive Pollinator Friendly Garden Certification

Posted: October 24, 2011

You Can Become Certified Too! Three Penn State Master Gardeners in Susquehanna County have recently had their pollinator gardens officially certified by Penn State as a “Pollinator Friendly Garden.” Rosi Barnhart, Friendsville; Shirley Krayeski, Springville and Judith Marsh (Master Gardener Apprentice), Uniondale all were certified this year.
Shirley Krayeski, of Springville

Shirley Krayeski, of Springville

Rosi, Shirley and Judith’s gardens had to meet criteria such as 1. Provide Food, which includes having plants, shrubs and trees that are diverse for pollen and nectar sources. 2. Provide Water Sources, such as a birdbath, pond, spring or butterfly puddling area. 3. Provide Shelter, such as spaces of bare ground, rock piles, dead wood or bee boxes. 4. Safeguard Pollinator Habitat, such as removing invasive plants and reducing pesticide use.

Pollinators need our help: both native bees and domestic bee populations are declining, affected by habitat loss, disease and contact with pesticides.  Penn State Extension Master Gardeners are taking action to protect pollinators by planting pollinator friendly gardens and providing education for the gardening public. You can join this effort by providing food and habitat for native insects/animals. Pollinators will, in turn, provide the pollination needed to protect our plant diversity and food sources.  Certifying your property as “Pollinator Friendly” will help support a healthy ecosystem for our community and our future.

Does your property already qualify? Find out by going to: http://ento.psu.edu/pollinators/public-outreach/cert. Fill out the application and send it with a non-refundable $10.00 application fee. If you qualify you will receive a certificate verifying that your landscape is pollinator friendly. You will then be eligible for the Penn State Master Gardener Pollinator Friendly Garden sign for $30.00. Both the certificate and the sign show your commitment to conserve pollinator habitat. Your donation also helps support Penn State Master Gardeners continue their quest of educating the public about the importance of providing habitat for pollinators. For more information or an application contact Penn State Extension in Montrose at 278.1158.

By Kimberly Grace, Penn State Master Gardener