On Monday we kicked off our week by getting to know some local pollinators and our fellow campers. We learned about how bees do their pollinator thing and practiced pollinating like bees and butterflies, then made a bee bath to help them on their travels. Later, at Critter Crawl we paid special attention to all the plants that need pollinators to continue to grow along our river.
On Tuesday we dove deep into the hive to learn all about honey bees and how important they are to the food we eat. Did you know that bees pollinate ⅓ of all of the food we eat! Our special guest Beekeeper, Jack, told us all about them and his hives here in Denver. Afterwards, we made some small greenhouses to grow chia seeds into sprouting plants, and ended our day with a plant dissection to see just what parts of the flower produce pollen and nectar.
On Wednesday we continued our discussion about pollinators by designing our own pollinator gardens, flowers, and pollinators. At Critter Crawl we took a look at all the species we could who rely on our river to pollinate and live. We ended the steamy day with some fun sprinkler time and all our campers were drawn into the sprinkler like a bee to a flower.
On Thursday we had a hot field day filled with lots of pollination games where we were bats, butterflies, and bees out in the field doing our best to pollinate the fastest. After we competed to see which pollinator was the best, we found ourselves all together at Critter Crawl where we found the most – and biggest – crawdads of the whole week. In the afternoon we also got to sponge the LIT’s to cool down as a reward for reaching our water goals this week!
On Friday we said “see ya later, pollinators” to our campers, but before we let them go we had a visit from Denver Parks and Recreation Ranger Ian who talked with us about how each park is home to many different species of plants best suited for Denver’s pollinating pals. We helped out Johnson Habitat Park specifically by pulling some weeds and planting a specific blend of Colorado native plant seeds. Then inside we worked on our own biodegradable planters to fill with wildflower or columbine seeds, before thanking everyone for a great week and celebrating at graduation.