By Rosalie “Roz” Schnick
Chair, Environmental Committee – Rotary Club of La Crosse
La Crosse County Commissioner – Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway Commission
WHY POLLINATOR PROJECTS:  Pollinators throughout the world are in precipitous decline due to loss of their habitat, a changing environment, and the use of pesticides harmful to them.  The survival of pollinators is incredibly important because almost 90 percent of wild plants and 75 percent of all food crops need pollinators for their survival.  Greater survival of pollinators and butterflies can be achieved through the planting of pollinator seeds/plants to enrich and extend their habitat. 
WISCONSIN ROTARY “OPERATION POLLINATION” FOR OCTOBER 4-11 “DAYS OF SERVICE” WEEK:   That is where a Rotary program called “Operation Pollination” combined with Rotary’s “Days of Service” scheduled for October 4-11, 2021, comes in.  All Wisconsin Rotary Clubs in Wisconsin’s Districts 6250, 6220, and 6270 will be invited to collaborate with a combination of partners by planning or preparing for, or planting seeds/plants to create, restore, or maintain the habitat of pollinators/butterflies.  See Operation Pollination for details on how this program works. 
A unique effort associated with “Operation Pollination” is a Mississippi River Corridor “All American Great River Road National Scenic Parkway” and Midwestern states initiative that originally focused on bringing Rotary together with the Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway Commission (WIMRPC).  These efforts have now broadened to the whole MRPC from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico and to the whole State of Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) will be this state’s agency to help support these lofty goals and help in the coordination with Rotary and WIMRPC.  See Wisconsin - Experience Mississippi River and Saving Wisconsin's Native Pollinators | Wisconsin DNR for details on both WIMRPC and WDNR and their collaborative pollinator programs.

“OPERATION POLLINATION” WEBINAR:   A free one-hour Webinar will be scheduled for some time in late July or Early August 2021 and will be conducted by Rotarians with expertise on how to select, proceed, and succeed with “Operation Pollination” projects connected with Rotary’s “Days of Service” during the week of October 4-11, 2021.  See Paths to Pollinators Rotary Network for projects that are already underway.