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 Winning Pollinator Condo Design for Girl Scout Camp St. Albans!

 Congratulations, Lilly S. from Bellevue !
You are officially an insect architect!

Girl Scouts of Western Washington and the Native Bee Conservancy have been working together to build a habitat where native pollinators and other beneficial insects will want to live. But we needed girls to help us design it! Lilly S. from Troop #46260 submitted the winning design, and her pollinator condo will be built by Girl Scout troops and families during Family Camp and Core Camp, August 8-11. Way to go Lily!

pollinatorwinner.JPGLilly's design is 6' tall and 3' deep, and includes space for two bat boxes! Lilly says she designed this because she loves bats. How cool! We also hope ladybugs, bees, birds, butterflies, beetles, ants and even frogs come to visit because they can all cause pollination to happen.

The public is invited to our Pollinator Condo ribbon cutting ceremony on August 11 at 1:30 pm. Call our staff at Girl Scout Camp St. Albans to RSVP: (360) 275-1040.

Check out Lilly's Pollinator Condo Design here!

What is a pollinator?

A pollinator is any animal that moves pollen from one flower to another. For a plant to make a healthy seed, the pollen from the anther of one flower must be moved to the pistil of another flower of the same species. That process is called pollination. Once the pollen and an ovule come together, they unite to form a seed.

Who are the pollinators?

You are a pollinator! Let’s say you walk across a field and brush against a daisy. Some of the pollen may stick to your jeans. Maybe you see it and maybe you don’t because pollen grains are very, very small. Later, you may brush against another daisy. If some of the pollen from the first daisy sticks onto the pistil of the second daisy, you have pollinated that plant. Congratulations! You have started the process of making a seed.

Lots of animals move pollen. Non-living things can move pollen too, even though we reserve the word “pollinator” for the animals. Non-animal pollination can be accomplished by wind, rain, or gravity–anything that causes the pollen to move from one flower to another.

We depend on pollinators for much of our food

Pollinators are vital to life as we know it. Without them, many of our favorite foods would disappear. Can you imagine a world without carrots, almonds, kiwis, or cherries? Would you miss those special flavors like chocolate and vanilla? Not even basic fibers like cotton and linen would exist without the pollinators that serve them.

Furthermore, without our native pollinators—those that belong right here in Western Washington—many of our unique Northwest plants would disappear forever.

Pollinators need a place to live

Providing habitat is one of the best things we can do to help pollinators. Habitat is the natural environment of a plant or animal, a home where they can be comfortable and healthy and have all the things they need. A good habitat provides safety from predators, a source of food and water, shelter from wind and rain, and a cozy place to build a nest. We envision a structure adjacent to the butterfly garden that will provide an assortment of nesting sites and building materials for local pollinators that work the forest and lakeside environments.

For more information on pollinators and pollinator habitats, please visit the Native Bee Conservancy website. Special thanks to Rusty Burlew for all the information she provided!