On April 27, Rachael Winfree (Entomology) and Mary McLeod (Ph.D. candidate, Entomology; Winfree lab) conducted a Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course at the Snyder Farm, in Pittstown, NJ. The course was made possible with the support of a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant awarded to Winfree and with the collaboration of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. The purpose of the course was to present scientific results, management guidelines, and technical expertise on restoring and managing pollinators in New Jersey. This is important because pollinators are required for 75% of the world’s leading food crop plants and for 87% of all flowering plant species globally. Among the important goals of the workshop:
- Identify approaches to increase and enhance pollinator diversity on the land.
- Knowledge of current best management practices that minimize land-use impacts on pollinators.
- Understand the economics of insect-pollinated crops and the effects of pollinator decline.
- Ability to make recommendations to farmers and land managers that conserve pollinators.
- Ability to design and implement habitat improvements, such as native plant restoration and nest site enhancements.
Additional funding was provided by the USDA Northeast Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (SARE) program, the CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Sarah K. de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust, Turner Foundation, Whole Systems Foundation, and Xerces Society members. Support was also provided by the Cape-Atlantic Conservation District and the North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development.