Pollinator Scavenger Hunt

Join the Parker County Master Gardeners as we learn about the importance of conserving our native pollinators. Did you know that 75% of our crops depend on pollinating insects in order to produce our food? Did you know that 75% of our blooming plants require a pollinator to produce seeds for the next generation? Pollinating insects are absolutely vital in Parker County. SPECIAL EVENTS on May 6, 2017 at the Weatherford Library, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., AND Pollinators in the Garden at Chandor Gardens (711 W. Lee Ave., Weatherford, 76086), 9:00 a.m. to noon. On May 12, 2017 is Native Pollinator Habitats at Clark Gardens (567 Maddux Rd., Weatherford, TX 76088), 11:00 a.m. to noon.

The honeybee may be declining, but there are literally thousands of species of native insects that pollinate plants in our county. Take a quick test and see if you recognize any pollinators in this grouping of insects?

  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Butterflies
  • Moths
  • Flies
  • Ants
  • Beetles

If you answered yes to each of the insects above, then you’re exactly right. An insect doesn’t have to collect pollen in order to pollinate. It simply has to have a reason to go to the center of a flower. Our most effective pollinators are actively collecting pollen and nectar to feed themselves and their offspring, but there are hundreds of pollinating insects that are simply touching the flower as they go about their business. The Pollinator Scavenger Hunt is a great way to learn about native pollinators, and a fun way to pass that information along to next generation. So pull out your phone or your camera, find a group of children, and have a scavenger hunt! Everything you need is right here in this brochure. The Pollinator Scavenger Hunt focuses on butterflies because they are safe and friendly for even the most curious children.

Butterflies can be found in butterfly gardens on any warm day. We recommend the following locations: Get Map here.

  • Aledo/Annetta Community Projects
  • Azle Central Park Demonstration Gardens
  • Clark Gardens
  • Chandor Gardens
  • Extension Demonstration Gardens
  • National Vietnam War Museum Gardens
  • Weatherford Public Library Literary Gardens
  • Willow Park Gardens

Each of these Gardens is filled with plants that thrive in our environment, including plants that specifically support our native pollinators. Most of these Gardens are Master Gardener Projects, and most are Certified Monarch Waystations. Please be careful of our public garden areas by staying on the paths as you search for insects. Download our color brochure to help identify the local pollinators here.

Rules (there are none but these are suggestions)

Pre-School Children

Young children can easily identify a butterfly based on size and color. For example, a monarch is a large, orange butterfly; and a cloudless sulfur is a small yellow one. If they can identify a size and color, then they win. If you can snap a picture for them to look at more closely, that just adds to the fun and may allow them to match it to a picture.

Young School-Age Children

Young school-age children will be able to identify colors and designs on the larger butterflies so that they recognize the monarch or the swallowtails by name. If they are very still, they will be able to identify the smaller ones as they sit on flowers to eat. But the easiest by far is to snap a picture so they can compare the photo to the pictures. If they can put a name to three butterflies, they win.

Older School-Age Children

Older school-age children will be able to compare the butterflies they see to the pictures in the brochure and identify butterflies by name. They can also learn at least one fact about those butterflies, such as the months they are active in our county or the host plant where they lay eggs. If they can name four butterflies and remember one fact about each of them, they win.

Teens

For teenagers, there is no limit. Go ahead and surprise us! How many butterflies can you find? How many can you name? What can you tell us about them? Let this be a launch pad for your curiosity!

For Kids of All Ages

Thanks for participating in our learning adventure. We hope you have fun and learn something new. We also hope you’ll invite your friends to come out and play with the pollinators!

  • Can I be Firewise and keep my trees?

    How can I be Firewise and keep my trees?

    Preparing your property for fire does not mean removing all your trees. There are many things you can do to make your home resistant from embers or fires that may involve simply removing overhanging branches or limbing trees up from the ground.

    Remember that healthy, well-maintained trees on your property will provide many benefits and not necessarily pose a major risk for wildfire spread. Your site-specific risk depends on the species and arrangement of the trees. Contact Parker county Master Gardener office to get the name of our Firewise specialist or contact the Texas A&M Forest Service for additional information on creating a safer landscape. Also, in our Best Trees for Parker county section of the website trees to determine the best drought tolerant and most Firewise trees.

     

     

  • Is There a List of Native Shrubs and Trees For Parker County?

    Please discuss native plants for Parker County. 

    For best results, we recommend that you use plants that are native to our area, or have been proven to be adaptable to the soils and climate of Parker County. These plants will thrive with a reasonable amount of care, and will survive our worst conditions even with minimal attention.

  • Recommed Fast Growing Trees

    We are building a house on property that has no trees. Can you recommend some fast growing trees that will shade the house?

    There are important questions to consider before you start selecting trees. First, consider why there are no trees on the property. It may be that the land was cleared for pasture or farming, but it is also possible that conditions are not favorable for tree growth.

  • Removing a Limb from a Tree

    What is the best way to deal with broken tree branches from icy weather?

    It is best to allow the damaged tree to thaw before attempting to work with it as your efforts may produce more damage. Do not attempt to remove ice by striking the branches. Trees are fairly brittle in winter; and with the added rigidity of the ice, you will break more branches than you will save.

    The primary factor in your decision for dealing with the tree is safety. Is the tree damaged to the point that removing the limb is a hazardous task? If so, then you should consider hiring a Certified Arborist to help with the situation. Is it a tree that, by nature has weak branches? If the answers are yes, then the best decision may be to remove the tree.