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Spreading life: BioPark Botanic Garden celebrates pollinators

A swallowtail takes a sip on a butterfly bush at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

The role of pollinators is critical to our survival.

Learn why during the Pollinator Celebration on Saturday, June 15, at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden.

“Pollinators are the reason we have food to eat. Without pollinators, there wouldn’t be any food to eat,” said Pamela Dupzyk, education coordinator for the BioPark Aquarium and Botanic Garden. “Also, there wouldn’t be any flowering plants. If you didn’t have pollinators, you wouldn’t have seeds or fruit and you wouldn’t have seeds to have the plants reproduce themselves, so pollinators are integral to our life on Earth. Without them, we wouldn’t be here, and many are endangered because of loss of habitat because of use of various pesticides and herbicides.”

The Pollinator Celebration will have three stations where guests can learn what a pollinator is, what they do and the varieties of pollinators to include honeybees, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds and bats. Guests also will learn about the variety of homes and habitats that honeybees and native bees live in.

Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will talk about insect and migratory pollinators. A a regional botanist with the U.S. Forest Service will discuss what the agency is doing to help with pollinator conservation. Staff from the city’s Open Space Division and New Mexico State University’s Los Lunas agricultural plant center will be on hand to talk about the importance of pollinators and agriculture.

Visitors will have the opportunity to observe some pollinators first hand.

“Our pollinator pavilion is up and filled with butterflies and moths and a few bees so we will also have activities in there as well,” Dupzyk said. “We will be talking about them at tables all over the festival green but then people will get to go into the pavilion and actually see them as they’re flying around them.”

The ABQ BioPark is teaming up with the city’s Open Space Division, which is hosting its Bee Pollination Celebration from 4 to 8 p.m. that day at the city’s Open Space Visitor Center. It will feature music, a dance performance, workshops, art exhibits, pollinator-themed arts and craft activities and more.

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