Deryn Davidson, Colorado State University Extension – Boulder County

More and more people are becoming aware of the important role pollinators play in everything from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear. Pollinator gardens are being planted in neighborhoods and researchers spend their careers learning about every facet of these fascinating creatures. Whether you are already immersed in this world or just curious about the state of Colorado’s pollinators, you might be interested in joining the Colorado Pollinator Network (CPN) for their 5th annual Pollinator Summit on Thursday, November 5. Typically an in-person event, the 2020 Summit will be held virtually for everyone’s convenience and safety.

The theme of this year’s summit is to look at how we can bridge disciplines and promote conservation actions to protect pollinator habitats and foster pollinator diversity. The organizers hope to welcome a broad audience to explore the state of pollinator conservation in Colorado, identify obstacles to conservation action across disciplines, and identify strategies to overcome the challenges of pollinator conservation here in Colorado and beyond.

The Pollinator Summit has an array of speakers lined up including international bee expert and bestselling author, Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology at University of Sussex in England. He has published more than 300 scientific articles on the ecology and conservation of bumblebees and other insects. In his talk he will discuss “why insects are in decline, and suggest how we should tackle this crisis, first by turning our gardens and urban green spaces into oases for life, and second by fundamentally changing the way we grow food.”

There will be two tracks in which attendees will have the opportunity to listen to expert panels present on various Colorado pollinator topics:

• Education, Engagement and Equity: Inspiring Coloradans to Work for Change.

• Policy Panel Discussion: Creating and Implementing Policies that Accelerate Pollinator Conservation.

• Colorado’s Pollinator Research: Building Knowledge to Inform Conservation Action.

• Managing our Lands to Protect Pollinators and Build Resilient Farms, Rangeland and Cities.

Afterwards participants will have a chance to engage in live panel discussions on issues surrounding Colorado pollinators. There will be virtual vendors available throughout the day for attendees to visit as well as poster sessions by area researchers and students.

Sponsors of the Pollinator Summit and the organizing partners include the Butterfly Pavilion, CU Museum of Natural History, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Audubon, CSU Extension in Boulder County, People & Pollinators Action Network, City of Boulder, and CU Community Engagement, Design and Research Center.

Haven’t heard of the Colorado Pollinator Network? From their website: “The Colorado Pollinator Network was established in 2016 with a mission to bring organizations together to work collaboratively to conserve, protect and create pollinator habitat while educating communities across the state of Colorado to protect our pollinators. The Network allows for organizations and individuals throughout Colorado to collaborate to make a positive impact on the health of our state pollinators. This group shares information about the best practices, resources and knowledge to support education initiatives, conservation, restoration and creation of habitat and research on pollinators in the state.”

For more information on speakers, session schedule and to register visit butterflies.org/copollinatornetwork.

By Deryn Davidson. Deryn is an Extension Agent – Horticulture at Colorado State University Extension Boulder County. For more information contact CSU Extension at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road, Box B, Longmont, 303.678.6386, e-mail ddavidson@bouldercounty.org or visit boulder.extension.colostate.edu.