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Greene County Conservation District Builds Community Partnerships through Pollinator Education Program

A butterfly enjoys Greene County CD’s newly planted pollinator garden.

In 2023, the Greene County Conservation District (CD) in western Alabama was awarded a Friends of NACD District Grant to construct an educational “Bee Friendly” Garden Project at their field office. In partnership with the Alabama Conservation District Employees Association, local USDA agency partners, local extension offices, gardening clubs/organizations, and others, the Greene County CD hosted several educational opportunities featuring the district’s new “Bee Friendly” Garden. The results continue to be bountiful, reaching new community members and partners while stimulating more local interest in pollinator habitat.  

Greene County CD’s “Bee Friendly” Garden being put to use by local bees.

Designed with ease and local applicability in mind, the “Bee Friendly” Garden at Green County CD’s office has been a model project for urban and rural landowners alike throughout the district’s service area. While featuring important native pollinator plants, the garden also acts as a small-scale honey production site, further inspiring cooperators, clients, workshop participants, and passersby in the community to learn more about the processes behind pollinators and beekeeping. The project has also increased the district’s reach throughout the community and led to partnerships with local clubs, the public library, and many community members who had no former knowledge of conservation districts. 

Greene County students learn about the “sweet” side of pollinators from a local beekeeper.

Since the rollout of the “Bee Friendly” Garden Project at the annual Greene County Soil & Water Outdoor Science School, students of all ages have become more engaged and familiar with the science of pollination. Increased foot traffic has allowed the district to sell more books and maps and advertise their conservation services more broadly. Greene County CD plans to expand its pollinator education program over time and will continue to feature the “Bee Friendly” Garden project in ongoing events. District Administrative Coordinator Lorena Wilson now has landowners approaching her with interest in improving pollinator habitat for their fruit trees, crops, and native grasses.  

“This is exactly what our conservation district wanted to happen!” said Wilson.

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