A few weeks ago Morrison Rotarian Dr. Dick Vandermyde introduced Christopher Stein, Chief, Heritage Areas and Large Landscape Initiatives National Park Service, Interior Regions 3- 5. Christopher introduced our Rotary Club to the Bee and Butterfly Fund Seed a Legacy program. He discussed how dependent on bees, butterflies and other insects to pollinate plants to provide the foods we eat every day. Christopher noted “One out of every three bites of food you eat exists because of the efforts of pollinators, including many fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Pollinators not only are necessary for our own food, but support the food and habitat of animals” In addition he noted “In the United States alone, pollination by honey bees contributed to over $19 billion of crop production in 2010, while pollination by other insect pollinators contributed to nearly $10 billion of crop production”
In June of 2020 the Rotary International Board of Directors and the The Rotary Foundation Trustees added “supporting the environment” as the 7th Area of Focus. Rotary Board members established a collaborative effort known as Operation Pollination. Operation Pollination recognizes the importance of pollinator habitat both restored and maintained on public and private lands.  Through collaboration and outreach, an interconnected mosaic of pollinator habitat interspersed between public and private land will be developed to stabilize and/or increase populations of pollinator species throughout your project area.
The Morrison Rotary Club agreed to join Operation Pollination as their 2021-22 project. The club wrote a District matching grant to fund the project. The Morrison Club voted to contribute $500 toward the project which was double-matched by our local 6420 District. The Morrison City Council agreed to donate up to an acre of land located at Waterworks Park on West Winfield St. An environmentally friendly herbicide was applied to remove grass and weeds from the site. Morrison resident Ron Shank plowed the area in October 2021. He plowed it again in April 2022. Next a grant was written to the Bee and Butterfly Fund Seed a Legacy program for seeds that are native to both bee and butterfly pollinators. Many thanks to Elsa Gallagher for providing 17 lbs. of a variety of clover, lavender hyssop, lemon mint, coneflowers, goldenrod and blackeyed susan seeds at no cost to our club. The garden was planted in late April. A sign was erected to commemorate the Morrison Rotary Clubs dedication to the preservation of pollinators in our area. Many thanks to Christopher Stein, Elsa Gallagher of the BBHF, Dr. Vandermyde for his vision, plus Morrison Rotarians and Rotary District 6420 for providing funds to make this vision a reality!