Florida Museum to host Pollinator Palooza at First Magnitude

Attendees can meet researchers, enjoy pollinator-themed beer and choose from a variety of free native plants at Pollinator Palooza.
Attendees can meet researchers, enjoy pollinator-themed beer and choose from a variety of free native plants at Pollinator Palooza.
Credit Florida Museum/Jeff Gage

Share a pint with the Florida Museum of Natural History and Earth’s pollinator pals at Pollinator Palooza on June 22 from 2 to 6 p.m. at First Magnitude Brewing Co.

Kicking off national Pollinator Week with free plants, themed-beer, food trucks and organizations sharing information, this family-friendly festival raises awareness on the vital roles pollinators play in our environment, and what can be done to help them survive and thrive.

“The number of insects, including pollinators, is declining, and one major driver is habitat loss,” said Kristin Rossetti, conservation coordinator at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. “One way the public can help at-risk insect species is to plant for pollinators!”

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People can provide vital habitats and food for bees, butterflies, moths and other pollinators in their home landscapes by planting native wildflowers and plants. Available on a first-come, first-served basis, the first 300 attendees can choose one plant from the following options: black-eyed Susan, spotted beebalm, lanceleaf coreopsis, starry rosinweed, common spiderwort, blanketflower and rattlesnake master.

Scientists from the McGuire Center’s Daniels Lab will also showcase a variety of native, live insects from the Florida Museum’s “Science Up Close: Incredible Insects” exhibit currently on display through Sept. 2 as well as provide resources to promote pollinator conservation.

“We want to make people aware that what they do in their yards and gardens can make a big difference when they plant for pollinators,” Rossetti said. “Even small botanical areas or a porch with potted plants can help by acting as steppingstones, full of resources for insect pollinators as they move throughout a developed environment.”

This year’s special pollinator-themed First Magnitude brewed beer, Pollen Nation, is a refreshing hibiscus and lime lager. Ten percent of the proceeds will support imperiled butterfly recovery efforts in Florida.

This marks the 15th collaboration between the Florida Museum and First Magnitude. In addition to scoring a free plant and enjoying a pollinator-themed pint, festival attendees can also engage with local organizations and learn about their research.  Community partners at the event include the Florida Wildflower Foundation, city of Gainesville’s Bee City USA initiative, Florida Native Plant Society, University of Florida’s Natural Area Teaching Laboratory and UF Native Plant Nursery.

The Florida Museum will also be hosting two “Plant for Pollinators” events to offer the public another opportunity at free native plants. One takes place Aug. 3 at Mead Botanical Garden in Winter Park, Florida, from 12 to 3 p.m., and the other is Sept. 7 at the Alachua County Library District’s Millhopper Branch from 12 to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit the Florida Museum website.

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