Our volunteers celebrated the 2012 National Pollinator Week this year at the W.G. Jones State Forest. We called it NatureLIVE and our goal was to create interactive displays in the gardens. The visitor count was low; however, the visitor enthusiasm was high.
"If I had known how great this was going to be, I would have brought everyone I know."
"Me and my teen aged grandchildren have agreed we will put a small pond like this in my yard next month."
"I wanted a sound barrier wall in our subdivision. Now I understand how much nicer a nature habitat buffer would be for our communal space for people, plants, and animals."
"I am going to start a new flower bed with these native plant seeds."
"I will add plants for the caterpillars to eat in my flower beds. I never knew there were certain plants for certain caterpillars and butterflies."
"I learned bees are not out there waiting to sting me."
Group Photo Album: http://jonesforest.snapfish.com/snapfish
Things we did different this year:
- Interactive displays outside in the gardens -Visitors were encouraged to see, touch, feel, count, and photograph things in the gardens. Plus, make things to take home and learn about citizen science projects they could do from home.
- Shade tents -tables were set back to allow the visitors to get in the shade.
- Water stations - ice water jugs positioned throughout the traffic flow instead of bottled water. More economical and less waste.
- Chikawa Aztec Dancers invited visitors to participate in the Dance of the Wind, Dance of the Hummingbird, and Dance of the Butterfly.
- Donation jars were set up in 3 locations.
- Condensed and reduced the number of handouts.
- Native seed mix packets included a sheet to show what was in the mix and how to plant.
- Activities for children area.
- Event times shortened: 10:00-1:00. Butterflies were active and volunteers were not in heat for so long.
- Set up and clean up was done by the Summer Hires. It saved wear and tear on our volunteers.
Notes for next year:
- Stress the shade provided, breeze from open spaces, and free ice water in our promotions.
- Make handouts available on the web site for download after the event.
- Need an eye catcher to draw people off the road as they pass by on the day of the event.
- Registration to get a visitor estimate prior to the event did not work.
Volunteer Participation: Texas Master Naturalists, Texas Forest Service, US Forest Service, Texas Master Gardeners, Amigos Del Bosque, Chikawa Aztec Dancers, Montgomery County Beautification Association