Year: 
2021
Project Leader: 
Alexandria Bryant Popham and Troy Dupin
Department/Program: 
Breckinridge County Extension Council
Funding Received: 
$1,000

In order to provide hands-on education and leadership development through pollinator programs, the Breckinridge County Extension Council formed a committee to plan and implement a county-wide pollinator education and habitat program. The program aims to 1) provide education to youth and adult volunteers regarding bee keeping, native pollinator services, and habitats, 2) develop teen and adult leadership through teaching and service projects, and 3) plant pollinator gardens and patches of pollinator habitats to support pollination in the agricultural community and increase community pride through beautification. The committee members have planned a new program to create beautiful and functional pollinator habitats throughout the county by spreading native seeds attractive to a wide variety of pollinators. The program also has strong educational components. The Extension Council plans to partner with the 4-H Council Bee Ambassador program to teach pollinator lessons to youth. The local program would include hands-on lessons from the KY 4-H Bee Ambassador manual such as parts of a hive, honey extraction, building mason bee houses, building butterfly houses, honey tasting, bee safety, the business of bees, pollination and food, establishing pollinator habitats, etc. Completed butterfly and native bee houses will be incorporated into the pollinator habitats throughout the county. The program also incorporates opportunities for development of communication through youth and adult demonstrations, with teen and adult partners leading lessons. Pollinator lessons would be included in the county-wide Youth Ag Expo (300+ 6th graders) and Farm Safety Day programs (300+ 4th graders). Lessons would also be incorporated into club settings such as the 4-H Bug Club and 4th/5th grade school clubs (500+ youth), school enrichment in the 6th-8th grade science classrooms (600+ youth), as well as, special interest programs led by teen and adult volunteers (e.g. Cloverbud programs for 100+ K-3rd graders). The program aims to provide hands-on learning opportunities to increase youth participants' and adult volunteers' knowledge and skills related to enhancing pollination services provided by native pollinators, spark an interest among land owners to incorporate pollinator habitats, and develop leadership and life skills such as communication, teamwork, and service to the community among local youth and adults.