Several years ago, we became aware of the Pine Bark Beetle. Much to our dismay these little guys can take down a grove of trees in no time. We were told that the only way to get rid of them was to get rid of the trees. Getting rid of trees at camp is a difficult thing. We love the trees! As it turned out, the trees in question were pine trees (Red Rosa) that were planted sometime in the 1960’s. These trees were destined to become Christmas trees. We aren’t quite sure how that worked out back then, but today we know the pines are not native to Indiana, and they were dying. Non-native trees can keep natives from thriving and doing their jobs for the habitats of many of our woodland creatures. These pine trees weren’t super helpful to anyone except for providing a bit of shade to The Pines Amphitheater where we hold Mass and other gatherings. Shade or no shade these trees had to go to prevent them from becoming dangerously weak and unsafe to be around.
So, in 2018 we joined with the Department of Natural Resources and began to make a plan to remove the pines and create something new, a pollinator field.
Why a pollinator field?
Pollinators are life! For us it begins with the bees! We need bees and they need us. Honey bees have long been an interest of Kevin, my co-director and husband. He has had his own hives and is now planning to have one on camp property. The bee box is in place; we just need to add bees.
Did you know?
“Bees are the most important pollinators of flowering plants that, along with other insects, directly or indirectly produce one of every three bites of food we eat. And honey bees -- the bees kept by beekeepers and used to produce honey -- are the most efficient pollinators; they enable the production of at least 90 commercially grown crops in North America and are responsible for adding more than $15 billion a year to the value of U.S. agricultural products.” https://iubees.indiana.edu/. Kevin Fryling, Steve Hinnefeld and April Toler
But it’s not just the honey bee. Mason bees are super pollinators as well.
In this article, the author claims they are actually better pollinators than the honey bees. https://www.tmnews.com/story/lifestyle/2013/06/16/indianas-native-bees/47463905/
In addition to the pollinator field, we have a Bee Hotel for the Mason's and others like them..
“Remember that pollinators are more than bees. Beetles, birds, wasps, moths, butterflies and flies join the ranks to pollinate our plants, helping them produce fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and flowers.” https://www.indystar.com/story/news/real-estate/2019/01/28/hoosier-gardener-plant-garden-pollinators/2648802002/
Our pollinator field welcomes them all.
At camp, it isn’t just important to us to put these practices in place. We also want to share with others and by sharing our love for the natural world we hope to help make an impact in saving her. Having the knowledge, using it, and sharing it is our way of being stewards of the God's magnificant creation, our Earth
Interested in joining us in saving the planet. Learn more here:
Also, when you visit camp, be sure to visit our pollinator field to experience the diversity of life buzzing about.
Camp is such an unique experience! Our staff take turns sharing their perspectives of the experience that is CYO Camp Rancho Framasa!
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