Pollinators play a key role in maintaining healthy ecosystems by contributing to plant reproduction. Through their symbiotic relationships with plants, pollinators spread pollen from one organism to another, while receiving nectar as a result. Beginning at the end of the 20th century, the population of pollinators has begun to decline due to habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change. The majority of these issues are caused by human activity. The population of eastern monarch butterflies has declined by 84 percent from the year 1996 to 2022. As of July of this year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified the monarch butterfly as "endangered." The population decrease of monarchs and other pollinators began the start of more frequent drought episodes and increased global warming.
Since November of 2022, the Platt Branch Library Teens have begun to develop their project Platt’s Pollinator Protectors, with the goal of educating the public on this issue. Our group was passionate about the environment and its health, so after learning about the decline of pollinators and the harm that could happen to our planet, we decided to take action.
Through discussion and research on the project, we determined the best way to make a change to the worldwide issue of the decline of pollinators was to spread awareness through our community. We decided that working with children in the neighborhood would be a good way to get families involved with the issue while teaching future generations about the importance of pollinators. In these programs, we hope to pass on knowledge and begin the long-lasting change to regenerate the population of pollinators.
Our teens are hosting a series of educational and interactive programs each month for the young in the community. We will invite guest speakers, hold presentations, conduct hands-on activities, and lead a community garden outside our library. As our project continues to grow, we encourage those around us to understand the importance of pollinators and spread awareness of how we can rectify our planet.
—Written by K.L.
K. L. is a volunteer at Platt Branch Library and student at El Camino Real Charter High School.
—Jennifer Watson, Young Adult Librarian, Platt Branch
The Teens Leading Change initiative has funded and launched 39 projects across 50 branches, including 4 projects across 7 branches that are happening now!