The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that crops dependent on pollination are worth more than $10 billion per year. Of the 1,400 crop plants grown around the world, almost 80 percent require pollination. Celebrate National Pollinator Week (June 22-28, 2020); look for pollinators, grasses, forbs and more along the 30 miles of trails at the USDA Forest Service – Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie or learn something new during virtual sessions hosted by Midewin NTP staff and volunteers.
On Thursday, June 25 at 9 a.m. there will be a special National Pollinator Week webinar. After a short virtual honey tasting, local beekeeper Frank Ibarra will tell about his beehives; Olivet Nazarene University Assistant Professor Dr. Derek Rosenberger will talk about Midewin NTP and the rusty patched bumble bee monitoring program. LINK to participate: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/r9-midewin-1000/. Registration is not required for this webinar.
For children, a “Prairie Stories Chalk Art” session will be held on Tuesday, June 23 at 11 a.m.; on Wednesday, June 24 at 11 a.m. there will be a program about bats, which are essential pollinators. “Midewin For Kids” programs are quick 15- to 20-minute educational sessions. To register, email [email protected] or call 815-423-6370.
The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie office moved to virtual operations in March in accordance with USDA direction to protect the health and safety of employees, customers and visitors.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we all continue to work together to try to minimize the impacts and spread of Covid-19,” said Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Supervisor Wade Spang.
Trails are available seven days a week from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., and visitors are encouraged to recreate responsibly to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.
“Come and enjoy the prairie, the trails and the great outdoors at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie,” Spang said.
Trail maps are available in Spanish and English on the Midewin NTP website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/midewin/maps-pubs. Self-guided hikes are a screen tap away on your smartphone or tablet: https://midewin.oncell.com/en/index.html.