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Pollinator Short Course Leads to a Buzz of Change

Extension Education

Lisa Sanderson
Residential Horticulture Extension Agent
UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County


Situation. The Villages is known as the largest retirement community in the world with approximately 160,000 residents according to the Villages Homeowner Advocates, in almost 80,000 homes, and it continues to grow. As new communities are developed, they are cleared of much of the vegetation that would be used for nectar and host plants, or pollen. Often new residential plantings can be basic green shrubs providing limited resources. The installed green shrubs that may not support all aspects of pollinator life cycles, and that is one of the possible reasons for native bee and butterfly declines. Educating new and existing residents on the importance of pollinators broadens the opportunity to the increase of pollinator plants to support butterflies and native bees. Methods. In April 2023, the first Pollinator Short Course was offered featuring UF/IFAS Extension specialists and experts to discuss managing pests on pollinator plants, discuss butterflies, their conservation and those at risk, honey beekeeping, native bees, and landscaping to attract and support pollinators. Results. There were 79 participants registered to attend the Pollinator Short Course, as well as volunteers. Participants took a pre- and post-quiz which resulted in an overall 28.5% (n=62) knowledge gain. Participants completed an evaluation with results indicating 84% (n=48) would change something in their landscape/pollinator garden after attending with some participants providing specific changes, and 100% (n=58) responded they would share something they learned with others, including specific information they would share. Conclusion. While new landscapes can be unsupportive of pollinator lifestyles, the Pollinator Short Course motivated participants to change their landscapes or share knowledge with others.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted only for display at AM/PIC. Poster is not to be judged, but the abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: Lisa Sanderson, Matt Smith, Adam Dale, Jaret Daniels, John Ternest
  1. Sanderson, L. Residential Horticulture Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County, Florida, 33513
  2. Smith, M. Commercial Crop Production and Food Systems Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Lake County, Florida, 32778
  3. Dale, A. Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology, Florida, 32608
  4. Daniels, J. Professor, UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology, Florida, 32608
  5. Ternest, J. PhD Candidate, Mallinger Pollinator Ecology Lab - UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology, Florida, 32608