PHOENIX, AZ - In response to the global decline of pollinators and the critical role they play in our food supply, the Maricopa County Community Colleges District’s Maricopa Native Seed Library is proud to announce the launch of the Maricopa Pollinator Pathway, a groundbreaking program tailored to support the unique needs of the low desert region in Arizona. The Maricopa Pollinator Pathway offers a pollinator habitat certification program that aims to positively influence habitat for pollinators, ensuring a thriving ecosystem in Arizona's Low Desert.
A panel of local experts were consulted to develop guidelines and educational materials specific to the pollinators, plants, and growing conditions of the low desert, enabling the Greater Phoenix area and surrounding communities to address the issue directly with two approaches. The program offers:
- A free pollinator habitat certification program
- The habitat certification program has three levels: contributing, core and comprehensive. The contributing level is intended for those new to pollinator gardening or who have small spaces; even a balcony habitat can qualify. The core and comprehensive levels introduce additional practices to support pollinators.
- Establishment of Pollinator Corridors
- A pilot pollinator corridor has been established between Scottsdale Community College, several SUSD schools, the Scottsdale Community Garden Club and the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. The Maricopa Pollinator Pathway is interested in working with organizations to establish additional corridors throughout the region.
"We believe that every individual, regardless of space or experience, can make a meaningful contribution to pollinator conservation," said Danielle Carlock, Maricopa Native Seed Library Founder and Faculty Librarian at South Mountain Community College (SMCC). "Our tailored certification program and the establishment of pollinator corridors are positive steps toward preserving biodiversity and securing a sustainable future for our community."
The Maricopa Pollinator Pathway currently has over 90 certified habitats established in private residences, businesses, and schools. This program aims to help pollinators while creating a space of beauty where you live, work or play. The free habitat certification is available to those in Maricopa County and adjacent areas under 3,000 feet in elevation.