STPAL formed in 2012 as an organization with the mission of creating new public parks. As of December 2016, STPAL has conserved and holds ownership of over 10,000 acres of property in 35 tracts from SE Georgia into NW North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Parks are being created on each. Some already have walking trails and are enjoyed by the public for passive recreation and quiet enjoyment of nature. One of the properties’ values is their impact on surrounding properties. Our land provides stormwater control, wildlife habitat, and undisturbed nature for its neighbors. The Pollinator Project is our newest initiative to aid surrounding lands by increasing the butterfly and bee populations across the areas that we are in.
Pollinators are responsible for assisting over 80% of the world’s flowering plants. Without them, humans and wildlife wouldn’t have much to eat or look at! Animals that assist plants in their reproduction as pollinators include species of ants, bats, bees, beetles, birds, butterflies, flies, moths, wasps, as well as other unusual animals. Wind and water also play a role in the pollination of many plants.
STPAL’s primary focuses in this area are Monarch Butterflies and Bees. Both of these are suffering from profound and rapid population decline. Primary reasons include the expansion of commodity crop farming which replaces natural fields and prairies, Round Up usage in farming, and the use of pesticides. Ironically the decline of one of nature’s important components for plant life has occurred thanks to the advancement of agricultural “progress”. The University of Georgia’s Odum Institute of Ecology is assisting us with this project.
We are currently underway with Phase 1 of the project. STPAL has been assisting with funding and knowledge to create Pollinator Gardens at the following locations:
- Talking Rock Nature Preserve, Pickens County, GA
- Atlanta Girls School, Fulton County, GA
- North Cobb High School, Cobb County, GA
- Camp Kiwanis, Madison County, Ga
- And over a dozen STPAL properties
Most of our Pollinator Gardens include milkweed, flowers, bee hotels, and butterfly shelters.