National Wildlife Week: Atlanta Partnership Comes Together for Pollinators

Bumble Bee by Josh Mayes
A pollen-dusted bumblebee feeds on coneflower nectar.
As a growing number of organizations spring to action on behalf of declining populations of pollinators across the country, partnerships like the Greater Atlanta Pollinator Partnership (GAPP), which was initiated in 2009, are seeing great success in creating homes for these essential creatures.

The goals of the GAPP are to encourage restoration and development of pollinator habitat at a landscape scale that is ecologically significant, which allows the project to focus on an area within a 25-mile radius around downtown Atlanta. If you think 25 miles is a small area, think again: this area offers nearly 1.2 million acres of potential pollinator habitat and includes all major public lands in metropolitan Atlanta and thousands of individual residences.

Key components of the GAPP include using native species when available, rescuing native plants from construction sites, controlling invasive species, establishing community gardens, citizen science projects, conservation, education and research. Following these steps helps create garden and green spaces with a real purpose: conserving pollinators.

Related: Tips for Attracting Butterflies to Your Own Garden

Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture certainly gardens with a purpose.  At their Wheat Street garden, a 4-acre green oasis and organic urban farm with pollinator plots surrounded by a sea of concrete, the American bumble bee, an uncommon and declining species, makes its home. If you plant it, they will come.

Key partners in this project include Atlanta Botanical Garden, Captain Planet Foundation, Georgia Highlands College, Georgia State University, National Wildlife Federation, and the USDA Forest Service.

In the Atlanta areas? Learn more or to register your garden and become part of this amazing urban conservation effort at

Atlanta was recently named one of the Top 10 Cities for Wildlife as part of the National Wildlife Week 2015 Celebration. Did your city make the grade?