(Contenido disponible en Español está marcado abajo)
If you love pollinators as much as we do, you’re probably aware of the recent population decline of many pollinator species. We’re taking a closer look at the things we can do to help our local pollinators.
In honor of Earth Day 50, we ask you to join us, all week long, as we share ideas of how we can all heal our relationships with the natural world.
And for those who are able, we ask that you help us achieve this mission by making a donation to the Nature Museum, $50 for 50 years, so we can continue to carry a renewed message of Earth Day forward.
Top 5 Chicago plants for pollinators
Want to bring pollinators to your yard? We have five plants that are native to our area that are sure to please bees and more (and are pretty easy to grow)!
- Purple Coneflower
- White Wild Indigo
- Black-Eyed Susan
- Aromatic Aster
Want to learn more about native gardening? Check out our website.
Join the City Nature Challenge
Now that you know some top pollinator plants, and some of our top pollinators, see how many of them you can spot and record as part of the City Nature Challenge, running April 24-27! Download the iNaturalist app, join the Chicago City Nature Challenge Project, and start logging! Let’s show the world how many plants and animals live in our city!
Teaching Tip: Not sure what plant you’re looking at? You can download the Seek app, also from iNaturalist, for extra help identifying.
Design a butterfly garden!
(Disponible en español)
Using the plants we talked about earlier, and other native gardening favorites, work with your young scientist to design a butterfly garden that could be planted in a local area (park, schoolyard, home, etc.). Use our butterflies newsletter as a guide for butterfly species, discovering their host plants and food sources, and draw up a design with the placement and names of the plant species chosen.Click here for full instructions.
Guiding Question: What kinds of butterflies do we want to attract? What do the butterflies eat? What do their caterpillars eat? What would we plant to attract them?
4 easy ways to help pollinators
Wondering how you can work to help pollinators? Here are a few easy ways to start:- Plant more native species and pollinator-friendly plants in your yard and garden.
– Avoid using pesticides whenever possible. Remove pests by hand and use non-systemic pesticides such as insecticidal soap if necessary.
– Support the upkeep of the Nature Museum grounds as they serve as a food source for pollinator species.
– Don’t use insecticides on bee swarms. If you notice a swarm on your property, contact a local honey co-op to have a beekeeper come and remove it from your property.
Teaching Tip: Tie these pollinators back to the bee we learned about during our “Bee” Story Time. Click here for the video.
Let’s go on a color walk!
(Disponible en español)
There’s truly a rainbow of colors in nature! Let’s take a closer look at them! Check out this guide to go on a color walk with your young scientist.
Guiding Question: What discoveries did you make? Was there a color that surprised you? What color did you see most/least? Why do you think so?
Where will you go?
What natural area will you visit when we’re done with stay-at-home? We want to hear your ideas and share them with others!
Behind the scenes!
Did you know that we use green cleaners at the Nature Museum? Marjorie demonstrates how to make your own in this video.