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Partnerships for Pollinators to host photography and art contest

August 24, 2012

Snap2EAU CLAIRE — A project initiated by University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students is hosting a photography and art contest focused on local pollinator species.

Partnerships for Pollinators, a community group funded by the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board, is seeking photos of nature and art that depict pollinator species found in west-central Wisconsin.

Partnerships for Pollinators was founded in May 2012 after WEEB gave more than $5,000 to kick-start the project, which aims to educate locals about the importance of pollinator species and how to create and maintain pollinator habitats. The project idea was spawned by 13 students enrolled in the UW-Eau Claire Honors course "Civic Agency and Environmental Stewardship."

"Partnerships for Pollinators hopes to raise awareness of pollinator species, which make more than 75 percent of our food crops possible," said Dr. Ruth Cronje, UW-Eau Claire professor of English and a member of the organization.

In May 2012 the organization planted a pollinator habitat in the Phoenix Park Community Gardens in Eau Claire. UW-Eau Claire students were joined by community organizations and citizens, including area Girl Scouts, in planting and maintaining the habitat. Students hope the habitat will be the first of many maintained in yards and parks throughout the community.

"Helping pollinators is a great way to help the environment," Cronje said. "Many of us already have pollinators in our yards or could attract them easily by planting a few pollen and nectar plants."

UW-Eau Claire students also have partnered with community groups to create educational materials and events to encourage pollinator habitat planting. Materials and events are intended to help facilitate citizen-to-citizen networks of neighbors who can swap information and plant materials to help spread pollinator habitat knowledge throughout the community.

For more information about the photography and art contest, visit the Partnerships for Pollinators website or the group's Facebook page.

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