Promoting citizen science about pollinators

A presentation participant practicing a 10-minute BudBurst! observation period.

COMMUNITY

By Maria de Bruyn
Contributing Correspondent/Columnist

During the sunny afternoon of October 7th at the Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL), interested town residents were invited to learn about Budburst!, a citizen science program run by the Chicago Botanic Garden. The CHPL Environmental Educator, Dale Morgan organized a presentation by the NC Botanical Garden’s Youth Education Manager, Elisha Taylor, about the program.

The presentation first focused on how Budburst! aims to promote collaboration between researchers and community collaborators in gathering data to help answer critical questions about how climate change is affecting plants and pollinators

Elisha Taylor of the NC Botanical Garden answered questions about pollinators and the BudBurst! program.

Then, Taylor presented a colorful overview of different types of butterflies and their caterpillars. She explained that butterflies and moths are one category of pollinators. Other categories include hummingbirds, bees and wasps, and beetles.

The session ended with a practice period where participants were allowed to observe a flowering plant in Morgan’s carefully cultivated pollinator garden. For 10 minutes, they watched to see if any pollinators visited the plant and, if so, to which category they belonged.

The informative session ended with all the participants receiving butterfly identification cards, information about joining BudBurst!, and free seeds and a pollinator plant. For information on how you could join BudBurst!, contact Elisha Taylor at the Botanical Garden: taylores@email.unc.edu


Maria de Bruyn participates in several nature-oriented citizen science projects, volunteers at Mason Farm Biological Reserve and the Orange County Senior Center, coordinates a nature-themed book club, posts on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/bruynmariade/) and writes a blog focusing on wildlife at https://mybeautifulworldblog.com.

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