Pollinator Week: Wings of Life 

Celebrate with us June 20 - 26, 2022


What is Pollinator Week?

Pollinator Week was initiated and is managed by Pollinator Partnership. Fifteen years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. 

Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration, promoting the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and beetles. It's a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what we can do to protect them.

Pollinator Week Fast Facts

  • About 75% of all flowering plant species need the help of animals to move their heavy pollen grains from plant to plant for fertilization.
  • Most pollinators (about 200,000 species) are beneficial insects such as flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths, and bees.
  • About 1,000 of all pollinators are vertebrates such as birds, bats, and small mammals.
  • Worldwide, approximately 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines need to be pollinated by animals in order to produce the resources on which we depend.
  • 1 out of every 3 bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators.
  • Foods produced with the help of pollinators include apples, strawberries, blueberries, chocolate, melons, peaches, figs, tomatoes, pumpkins, and almonds.
  • In the United States, pollination by honey bees and other insects produces nearly $20 billion worth of products annually!
  • In addition to the food that we eat, pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife.

Learn more fast facts about pollinators!


Dubuque Pollinator Week Events

The great thing about Pollinator Week is that you can celebrate and get involved any way you like!  Join us for these local Pollinator Week events and/or check out the Pollinator Power Party, the world's largest virtual party celebrating pollinators!

Self-Guided Prairie Tour

Tuesday, June 21, 9 a.m. - Noon
Canticle of Creation Center, Sisters of St. Francis

Enjoy a self-guided tour of the tallgrass prairie at the Canticle of Creation Center. Meet in the back parking lot of the Francis House near the Center at 3390 Windsor Ave. Signs will be posted and Program Assistant Mari Hammel will greet guests and provide plant identification materials.

Free Concert at Miller Riverview

Wednesday, June 22  |  4 - 7 p.m.

Miller Riverview Park, 1851 Admiral Sheehy Dr.

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and the Multicultural Family Center (MFC) are jointly hosting a free concert at Miller Riverview Park. The concert will feature artists from R&B and hip-hop genres with the intent to connect teens and residents of Dubuque with the river and public lands in a safe and culturally relevant way. Teens participating in the MFC STEP Program will also be performing. Food vendors will be available and guests may also bring their own food and beverage. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to sit on. For questions regarding the concert, contact Jared McGovern at jmcgovern@rivermuseum.com or 563-557-9545.

Up Close: Exploring the Bee Branch Greenway through Macro Photography 

Thursday, June 23  |  6:30 - 8 p.m.  
E. 24th St. Overlook, Bee Branch Creek Greenway

Ron and Jennifer Tigges of Digital Dubuque will host a free class exploring the Bee Branch Greenway and the importance of pollinators through macro photography. Staff from the EB Lyons Interpretive Center will be on site to provide information and answer questions about pollinators and pollinator habitat. Kids and adults will learn alongside one another about macro photography and then practice snapping beautiful, up-close images of pollinators and their habitats. Whether you have a digital camera or rely on a camera app in your smartphone, you’ll walk away with new techniques to compose and capture stunning close-up photos.

Intended for ages 6 and up; ages 13 and under should be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own digital or smartphone camera. If you don’t have a camera, please let us know in the registration form so one can be provided for you. Registration is not required, but highly encouraged. Walk-ups welcome! 

Pollinator Chalk-A-Palooza

Friday, June 24, 5 - 7 p.m.

All ages are invited to chalk the sidewalk at the Bee Branch Creek Greenway in celebration of Pollinator Week! We want to cover the sidewalk with bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, hummingbirds, bats, flowering plants, food crops, and all things pollinator-related! A limited supply of chalk will be provided. People are welcome to bring their own chalk and tools. No registration is required. This event is being held in conjunction with the 7th Annual Summer Sustainability Fair.

7th Annual Summer Sustainability Fair

Friday, June 24, 5 - 7 p.m. 
at the Bee Branch Creek Greenway

Join Green Iowa AmeriCorps for its 7th annual Summer Sustainability Fair at the Upper Bee Branch Creek Greenway! Over 20 vendors will be showcasing how they promote sustainability in our community including the Dubuque Bike Coop, Dubuque County Energy District, Green Dubuque, Habitat for Humanity, HACAP, Mines of Spain, The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Project Rooted, Northeast Iowa Community College, Convivium, Casper Creek Natural Cemetery, Sustainable Dubuque, the City's Public Works Department, and more! Vendors will have games, crafts, and interactive displays with sustainable prizes! 

Food will be available for purchase from VERSUS and Birds food trucks and Brion Bowman will be performing live music. A large-scale pollinator-themed mural by local artists will be on display as well as electric vehicles! Parking is available on-street and in the public lot located at 22nd St. and Prince St. We hope you join us for this celebration of Pollinator Week and sustainability initiatives in Dubuque!

Native Prairie Landscape Painting Class - Canceled

Saturday, June 25, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
E. 24th St. Overlook, Bee Branch Creek Greenway, 

This class has been canceled due to inclement weather.
With Bee Branch Greenway pollinators and their habitats serving as inspiration, youth and adults will explore connections between pollinators and our food system while learning to draw and paint with watercolor pencils in this class lead by local artist, Ellen Henkels. All supplies will be provided with take-home kits available so all participants have the opportunity to continue practicing their new talents at home.

Intended for ages 4 and up with ages 13 and under accompanied by an adult. Participants will be encouraged to work collaboratively with those they’re attending with, but individual participants are also welcome. Registration is not required, but highly encouraged. Walk-ups will be welcome with a max of 30 participants.

Carnegie-Stout Public Library Pollinator Activities

StoryWalk at the Bee Branch

To celebrate Pollinator Week, the StoryWalk at the Bee Branch Creek Greenway will feature the children's book "The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter" by Shabazz Larkin. The StoryWalk starts at the flagpoles by the bus stop on E. 22nd St. then continues across the E. 22nd St. bridge. It follows the trail up to E. 24th St. and circles back ending at the play area with slides. Parking is available at the corner of E. 22nd St. and Prince St.

Read "A Swarm in May"

Celebrate Pollinator Week by reading "A Swarm in May" by Mark Anthony Powers. In his debut novel, this author and beekeeper weaves medical mystery, beekeeping, and lessons on systemic racism into a compelling page-turner. The library is offering "A Swarm in May" as a books-in-a-bag option for local book clubs. The e-book will also be available as a simultaneous checkout on Hoopla allowing multiple people to check it out at the same time. (Hoopla is free and available to all library cardholders.) For more information, contact the library at 563-589-4225 ext. 2227 or interlib@dubuque.lib.ia.us.

Picture Perfect Pollinator Photo Contest

Monday, June 20 - Sunday, June 26, 2022

To enter, like Sustainable Dubuque on Instagram or Facebook then post an original photo of a pollinator up-close, pollinator-flower interaction, or pollinator landscapes using the hashtags #pictureperfectpollinator and #dbq.The winning photos will be displayed on the electronic monitors at the Bee Branch Creek Greenway through the summer and the winners will each receive an official Pollinator Week 2022 t-shirt. We will work with winners to determine their preferred size and color!  

Dubuque Pollinator BioBlitz

Monday, June 20 - Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Pollinator BioBlitz is a community effort to record as many pollinators as possible during Pollinator Week!
How it works: If you can find a pollinator and take a picture of it, you can participate as a BioBlitz observer! Download the iNaturalist app on your mobile device (Google Play, App Store), head outside, and snap as many photos of pollinators as possible including bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, hummingbirds, bats, wasps, flies, and more! Then, upload your photos to the iNaturalist app and share your observations. Go solo or BioBlitz with friends and family. Either way, you’ll love being a citizen scientist! 


Gardening for Butterflies and Pollinators

Download 4-page guide from ISU Extension & Outreach
A butterfly garden can be created as simply as planting a bunch of butterfly-favorite plants in a sunny corner of your yard. Learn about effective butterfly garden characteristics and which host and nectar plants are best for different butterflies.

Mowing to Monarchs

2021 & 2022 MtM Resources
The Mowing to Monarchs (MtM) program is a county grant program where interested property owners can apply with the Dubuque County Conservation Board for financial assistance to plant small patches of prairie plants. Forty-seven different participants were selected in Dubuque County to receive resources toward the establishment of the small prairie patches. The MtM website offers the resources distributed to prairie patch property owners for the establishment of their prairie patches created by our local Dubuque County Master Gardeners. 


Learn about pollinator ecology, monarchs, and how to create habitat. Find contacts to DNR private lands biologists for creating larger scale pollinator habitats. 

Plant Iowa Native

Check out these resources
The Tallgrass Prairie Center's "Plant Iowa Native" initiative is about connecting people with native plant resources. From backyard pollinator patches to large-scale watershed management, Iowa's native prairie plants are a functional, beautiful addition to the landscape.

Good Neighbor Iowa

Good Neighbor Iowa uplifts pesticide-free lawn management practices, encourages appreciation for diverse lawns, and educates the public on alternative methods of lawn management.  

Midwest Region Planting Guide

Download Midwest Garden Recipe Card
These regionally specific Native Pollinator Garden Recipe Cards are designed with easy-to-follow guidelines for creating home pollinator gardens that provide diverse and colorful herbaceous floral displays and resources across growing seasons.

Pollinator Partnership Video Learning Center 

Visit Pollinator Partnership's video learning center to access webinars across a range of topics from monarch conservation to native bees.

Pollinator Friendly Cookbook

Download the cookbook
Looking to support pollinators while mastering your cooking skills? Check out the Pollinator Partnership Pollinator Friendly Cookbook! More than 200,000 species of pollinators are critical to the stability of our food supply. Use this cookbook to create culinary masterpieces that honor pollinators and the work that they do! 

Dubuque Pollinator Week Partners

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