The Hartford has announced that it is partnering with environmental organization Earthwatch on a citizen-science project to document pollinators. The project aims to understand if key species are declining and how climate change may be affecting pollinator populations. One area of focus for the Global Pollinator Watch program is evaluating the ecological health of the Asylum Hill neighborhood in the city of Hartford, Conn.
The Hartford is collaborating with the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association (AHNA), which has planted pollinator gardens in the community. Hartford employees and Asylum Hill residents will volunteer to document pollinators by uploading images to the iNaturalist app as data points to be analyzed by researchers at Earthwatch.
“The Hartford recognizes the importance of pollinators in preserving a healthy ecosystem, sustaining plant life and contributing to food production, and we are proud to do our part to increase awareness and share information resources,” said Karen Jarmoc, head of sustainability at The Hartford. “The Hartford continues to be a leader in addressing the drivers of climate change, including those that affect the pollinator population and their host plants.”
Pollination is critical to the biodiversity of plant life, the sustainability of ecosystems and the production of food. The majority of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths, bats and birds. However, pollinator populations are shrinking due to pesticide use, loss of habitat, climate change and other factors.
“The Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association has a very active group of environmentalists who have planted several pollinator gardens in Asylum Hill,” said David MacDonald, AHNA executive director. “AHNA is very grateful for the support of The Hartford with the Earthwatch program. It will help us engage more of The Hartford’s employees in projects to strengthen Asylum Hill’s environmental sustainability and document the impact of our pollinator gardens.”
“Earthwatch is so pleased to be partnering with The Hartford on our Global Pollinator Watch program,” said Dr. Stan Rullman, Earthwatch director of research. “The Hartford’s employees will play a critical role in collecting pollinator data to help us better understand the health of pollinator communities, while identifying areas where pollinators could benefit from supportive interventions.”