I (Eliese Watson) went to the Portland Urban Beekeepers December meeting this month as I was travelling through, and what a great meeting it was! The guest speaker they had was Mace Vaughn, Pollinator Conservation Coordinator of the Xerces Society. The Xerces Society is an American invertebrate conservation group that began over 75 years ago, and focusses on the following goals:
- Creating demonstration sites reclaiming habitat within the local farm communities in Oregon and with 20+ sites nationwide. Some of these sites are over 150acres in size.
- Design and test wildflower seed mixes focussing on bloom succession and methods of avoiding pest species of plants
- Partnering with native seed industries to produce seed that is either uncommon or expensive to offer accessible options
- Testing wildflower restoration techniques in planting, weed control strategies by creating best practices standards by estimating metrics of success
- Development of guidance publications to support others in their habitat assessments ands well as offering a step-by-step guide to development
- Technology transfers. This means that Xerces strives to offer Pollinator conservation short courses and field trainings for farmers, so that they too can increase the campaign of best practices and have a stronger awareness of pollinator and invertebrate health. Xerces has trained and educated over 15,000 farmers in America these skills!
- Xerces strives to build relationships with farmers to educate about pesticide application, windrow protection, and intermediate species to support annual pollinator survival (outside of migratory pollination contracts)
I was really excited about Mace’s presentation and eager to learn more about the work of the Xerces Society. I have been on the website for years and enjoyed the content of the site. But now I feel I have a clearer understanding of their work and I am eager to support it in any way that I can. Go to their site, www.xerces.org. It is amazing!