project

Pollinator Monitoring Community Science Program

The District encourages pollinator conservation by helping residents grow vibrant pollinator habitat on their land. Read more on our Planting for Pollinators and Pacific Northwest Urban Meadowscaping pages. To help you learn more about pollinator habitat and diversity in our area, the District developed a Community Science Pollinator Monitoring Program beginning in spring of 2016. By engaging members of the community, we also hope to increase public awareness and understanding of pollinators by fostering pollinator ambassadors.

Community scientists learn bee ID at Xerces Society training

Each spring we gather a small team of dedicated volunteers to attend an in-depth training provided by The Xerces Society. The training follows the Maritime Northwest Citizen Science Monitoring Guide for Native Bees & Butterflies, and covers basic pollinator conservation, identification, and monitoring methods. Teams of volunteers are then assigned to monitor several District pollinator habitat planting projects at least three times over the summer.  The data our community science team gathers helps us develop more effective pollinator habitat projects in the future.

In 2016, we monitored 21 projects with the help of 13 Community Scientists. They observed a total of 778 individual pollinators representing 21 different groups.

In 2017 we began partnering with Oregon State University Extension’s Oregon Master Naturalist Program to more effectively recruit and support volunteers. We currently have 22 Community Scientists monitoring 33 projects. We were able to begin monitoring earlier in the spring thanks to the ten volunteers who decided to return from the previous year.

You can learn more about this and other pollinator conservation work we do by listening to the PolliNation podcast episode featuring our Conservation Technician & Education Coordinator, Laura Taylor who coordinates this program.

For more information, contact Laura at laura@wmswcd.org or 503.238.4775, ext. 112 at the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District.