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!

  • Are the Berries of Yaupon Hollies Poisonous?

    Short Answer, Yes.  Plants That Poison by Schmutz and Hamilton states that the poisonous parts on hollies are the berries. "The berries of all species are reported to be poisonous if eaten in quantity. The toxic principle is ilicin. Although not considered very poisonous, the attractive red or black berries should be considered dangerous to small children [and animals]."

  • Holly, "Burford"

    Holly, "Burford" Ilex cornuta x 'Burfordi'

    Grows in full sun to partial shade, evergreen. Mature size 20'x10'. Blooms in spring followed by red berries in fall. Watch for scale. Low water requirement. 3-17-2015

  • Holly, "Dwarf Burford"

    Holly, "Dwarf Burford" Ilex cornuta x 'BufordiNana'

    Grows in full sun to partial shade, evergreen. Mature size 6'x4'. Blooms in spring followed by red berries in fall. Low water requirement. 3-2015

  • Holly, "Possumhaw"

    Holly, "Possumhaw" Ilex decidua

    Grows in full sun to dappled shade. Mature size 15'x10'. Blooms March to May in shades of orange, red, and yellow followed by berries. A great shrub for interesting winter color. Be sure to purchase a female plant if you want berries. Low water requirement. 3-2015

  • What Is The Burford Holly Orgin?

    The Burford holly was discovered in Atlanta, Georgia’s Westview Cemetery in the 1900’s.