The citizens of South Carolina will be joining the Great Georgia Pollinator Census for the August 2022 count, expanding the reach of the pioneering project in the Southeast.
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension launched the Great Georgia Pollinator Census in 2019 as a citizen science research project inviting Georgians from across the state to come together for two days in August to document pollinator populations. The annual project encourages Georgians to create sustainable pollinator habitats and to learn about the many types of pollinators throughout the year. The program also offers a no-cost STEM program for educators, with teaching resources available through the program website. The fourth annual count is scheduled for August 19 and 20.
As South Carolina shares many of the same pollinator habitat issues as Georgia, citizens of that state have expressed interest in documenting their pollinator numbers. South Carolinians can use the resource materials on the website to count insects in their own gardens. Participants upload their counts to the project website, noting that they are providing counts taken in South Carolina and indicating the county where the data was collected. The resulting data will be available to those in South Carolina who are interested in pollinator populations and South Carolina educators will have access to all program resources to use in their school garden programs.
Amy Dabbs, Clemson University’s statewide school and community gardening coordinator, has worked with UGA Extension on several projects and has been instrumental in making schools and gardens in South Carolina aware of the opportunity to be involved in the census.
“We are all hopeful for a great first census year for everyone. This year will be a type of pilot for South Carolina. The name of the project, Great Georgia Pollinator Census, will stay the same for now. We are hopeful that the project and all its benefits will continue to expand to the entire Southeast,” said Becky Griffin, UGA Extension community and school garden coordinator and creator of the census.
For those in South Carolina, or those who are new to the census in Georgia, an introduction webinar is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, July 11. The first hour of the webinar will cover the basics of how to participate successfully in the census, followed by a discussion for educators on how to use the census in the classroom.
The webinar is free, but registration is required at eventbrite.com.
“We look forward to seeing everyone’s counts in August. We are all protecting Georgia’s, and South Carolina’s, pollinators one count at a time,” Griffin said.