Just in time for spring planting season, a new pollinator exhibit has bloomed at the Forest Preserve District’s Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville.
“Pollinators: Little Helpers, Big Results” runs from Tuesday, April 27, through Sunday, June 13. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. The museum is closed Mondays.
“This is the perfect time of year to be talking about pollinators because it is when we can be planting the flowering plants, trees, and shrubs that are so important to the health of pollinators and of the planet,” said Tina Riley, the Forest Preserve’s facility supervisor at Isle a la Cache Museum.
The exhibit will enlighten visitors on the importance and diversity of pollinators and what we can do to support and save these important creatures. Exhibit information explains how pollinators contribute to our quality of life by helping provide food, healthy landscapes, medicines and clothing.
The museum will be adorned with photos of pollinators as well as panels filled with amazing pollinator facts. Visitors also can take part in fun activities designed to change the way people see the world around them, whether it be going for a walk outside or taking a bite of food made possible by pollinators.
The exhibit also comes at a good time to educate those who delved into gardening for the first time last year during shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Riley said.
“In order to get the best yields from a vegetable garden and to help boost pollinator populations, people want to be thinking about planting a diversity of plants in and around their yards and gardens,” Riley explained. “Pollinators come in many shapes and sizes and add enormous benefits to our home gardens as well as food production around the world.”
The exhibit will blend in well with the museum’s “Plant by Numbers” program, the outdoor pollinator gardens at Isle a la Cache preserve, and examples of bee hotels and information on how to build them. Visitors can pick up planting guides, a free packet of seeds and themed activities for kids to take home.
“The exhibit and other displays at the museum provide examples of the kinds of plants we can add to our garden and how we can create natural and man-made homes for pollinators," Riley said. "There are many simple, low cost ways to support pollinator populations in our yards and communities.”
The exhibit will give the museum's repeat visitors something new to experience, she added.
“And we hope it entices new visitors to make that first trip to the museum and preserve."
This exhibit is made possible by The Paly Foundation, which focuses on efforts that highlight the importance of conserving and protecting natural habitats and wildlife populations. And it is partly funded by The Nature Foundation of Will County.
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