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Greater Atlanta Pollinator Partnership: A model for urban pollinator conservation

Global pollinator populations are in decline for a variety of reasons including habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. The Greater Atlanta Pollinator Partnership (GAPP) was initiated in 2011 because of the rapid loss of habitat and increase in pesticide use caused by the housing boom of the 1990s and early 2000s. Over this 20-year period, approximately 400,000 acres of green space were lost. Goals of the GAPP are to encourage restoration and development of pollinator habitat at a landscape scale that is ecologically significant; consequently, we designed our project to focus on an area within a 25 - mile radius around downtown Atlanta, Georgia. This comprises nearly 1.2 million acres of potential pollinator habitat and includes all major public lands in metropolitan Atlanta and thousands of individual residences. Within this area, efforts focus on restoring pollinator-friendly habitat and educating the public through formal and informal opportunities. 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, research, and website development. The GAPP website (http://gapp.org/) is critical to our online garden registration and mapping so we can track garden establishment, assess habitat development trends including identifying where corridors are developing or where more effort is needed, provide online educational materials, and provide focus to the effort through a newsletter. Through the GAPP, Bombus pensylvanicus, a rare and declining species, has been documented in a community garden in downtown Atlanta. This indicates even rare species can be conserved in urban environments if the appropriate species are planted. Funding for the Greater Atlanta Pollinator Partnership is limited, so synergy through partnerships is the key to success.

Project URL: http://gapp.org/

Geographic Scope: Local

Status: Active

Recruiting Volunteers: Yes, this project is recruiting

Participation Tasks: Data entry, Finding entities, Identification, Learning, Observation, Photography,

Start Date: 2011-03-01

Project Contact: dkrusac@fs.fed.us

Federal Government Sponsor:

USFS logo USDA logo

Other Federal Government Sponsor: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Name of Nonfederal Sponsors: Georgia Highlands College, Georgia State University, Georgia, Tech, Atlanta Botanical Garden, National wildlife Federation, Captain Planet Foundation,Greening Youth Foundation, Ford Elementary School, Xerces Society, Monarchs Across Georgia, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Beech Hollow Wildflower Farm, Lost Mountain Nursery, and numerous other local non-profit organizations.

Project Topic: Biology, Ecology and environment, Education, Pollinators/insects,

Intended Outcomes: Programmatic, Individual learning, Conservation,