Pollinator bike tour

LINCOLN – The week of June 20-26 marks this year’s Pollinator Week — an annual celebration to support the health of our pollinator population.

The goal of the week is to raise awareness about pollinators, their importance, and how to protect them, through various events and workshops.

To celebrate, the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor will host a Pollinator Garden Bike Tour on Wednesday, June 22, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Why pollinators?

According to pollinator.org, “Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce.”

Pollinators move from plant to plant carrying pollen in a vital interaction that transfers genetic material critical to the reproductive system of most flowering plants. Specifically, plants that: bring us fruits, vegetables, and nuts, half of the world’s oils, fibers and raw materials; prevent soil erosion, and increase carbon sequestration.

“This nearly invisible ecosystem service is a precious resource that requires attention and support – and in disturbing evidence found around the globe, is increasingly in jeopardy,” the site states.

The June 22 tour will visit two local pollinator gardens along the Blackstone River Bikeway. First, the group will meet at the Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone, at 100 New River Road, Manville, (just below the Manville parking area for the bikeway). There will be a tour of the pollinator garden, followed by a 3-mile bike ride south to the Capt. Wilbur Kelly House Transportation Museum to see the native pollinator garden planted by the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society.

The group will then bike back to the Watershed Council, where participants can take an optional walk along the riverside trail.

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