Pollinator Education Programs

Course participants at The Dawes Arboretum

Contributed by Denise Ellsworth, program director, Pollinator Education

Native Plants and Biodiversity

In 2022, 150 adult volunteers (OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists) enrolled in an online certificate course sponsored by the CFAES Department of Entomology entitled, “Native Plants and Biodiversity.” This six-week online course included webinars, readings, discussions, seminars and individual habitat enhancement projects based on course content. Lecturers included Douglas Tallamy, author Heather Holm, Ohio State professor Mary Gardiner and other experts. In-person field days in spring and summer provided additional opportunities for learning and networking, with locations including the Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens in Columbus; Kingwood Center in Mansfield; the Ohio State Mansfield campus; the Dawes Arboretum in Newark; and Bowyer Farm, part of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. The Native Plants and Biodiversity course combined online experiences with in-person learning opportunities, providing a hybrid format to transition from fully virtual learning experiences to a “post-pandemic” educational format.  These course participants are now working in their local communities to teach others through displays, classes and events. This program was funded in part by Ohio State’s Integrated Pest Management grant.

Course participants learning about native plants, pollinators and right-of-way habitat at The Dawes Arboretum in Newark, OH