ABIQUIU LAKE, N.M. -- Approximately 25 people observed Earth Day at a Pollinator Party at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District's Abiquiu Lake project office, April 22, 2017.

The party's theme was the importance of pollinators. USACE staff chose the theme to help the public learn more about the importance of honey bees, monarch butterflies and other pollinators, as well as supporting a 2014 presidential memorandum to "create a federal strategy to promote the health of honeybees and other pollinators."

A pollinator is an animal, such as a bee, bat, or butterfly which moves pollen from one part of a flower to another part, causing the plant to make fruit or seeds. Pollinators play an important role in the reproduction of many different types of plants. A decline in the pollinator population would pose a risk to agriculture and many ecosystems around the world.

Natural resource specialist and event organizer Nathaniel Naranjo spoke about the importance of improving pollinator habitat. After Naranjo's presentation, 16 volunteers helped Albuquerque District staff make pollinator houses.

"These houses were made by drilling a bunch of 3 inch deep, quarter-inch holes in what most people would consider trash, old lumber, and brush, putting on a roof, and attaching it to a wall or post. This type of house provides a much needed home and place to lay eggs for many species of native pollinators," said Austin Kuhlman, lead park ranger at Abiquiu Lake.

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Last reviewed/updated: 1/16/19