They celebrate the third Pollinator Fair at the Río Piedras Botanical Garden

Protected by a huge white tent, under the sun and humidity of this Saturday, the crowd walked among exhibits of bee hives, diagrams of flowers, insects and preserved bats, as part of the third Pollinator Fairto educate about the important role of these species in food production and biodiversity in Puerto Rico.

“I understand that we have the largest educational offering in the metropolitan area, free of cost to the public,” commented the agronomist. Pablo Jimenez Cruzwho led the event, held in a joint effort between the Agricultural Extension Service of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), the administration of the Botanical Garden and the United States Forest Service.

The fair, which was attended by 2,300 people in the last edition, this time had more than 30 exhibitions and 21 educational workshops which covered different topics, including how to create a pollinator-friendly garden, the variety of pollinating insects and their impact on agricultural ecosystems.

In the event, Maria Aquino and Diego Collazo They offered a presentation on the importance of pollination and the different species that participate in the process.

The workshops covered different topics, including how to create a pollinator-friendly garden, the variety of pollinating insects and their impact on agricultural ecosystems. (David Villafane Ramos)

“For me, the basis of any problem can be fixed with education,” explained Collazo, who is a student of Environmental Sciences at the Río Piedras Campus of the UPR.

Among those attending the presentation was Carlos Santiagowho was looking for information to develop a new farm. He talked about what he hoped to learn at the fair, mentioning “mostly about pollination, because (on the farm) right now there are no bees or butterflies. “We want to find a way to attract them”.

On the other side of the fair, the children waited excitedly to hear the story “Canito, the Fishing Bat.” A mother attended with her son, who was running among flowers looking to catch butterflies. “I have a hive of bees in my house, and he has his hive and everything, and he helps me take care of them. And since he loves it, well, I brought him here,” she said.

The fair was a joint effort between the Agricultural Extension Service of the University of Puerto Rico, the administration of the Botanical Garden and the United States Forest Service.
The fair was a joint effort between the Agricultural Extension Service of the University of Puerto Rico, the administration of the Botanical Garden and the United States Forest Service. (David Villafane Ramos)

To attract and educate people, organizations present, such as For Nature and the Puerto Rico Bat Conversation Programpresented posters, diagrams and products that they used to explain the role of pollinators in agriculture.

In the morning hours, the agronomist Martin Otero presented a motion of the House of Representatives, which recognized “the importance of pollinators” and the “fundamental role” they play in food production in Puerto Rico. The motion congratulated the UPR Agricultural Extension Service “for carrying out initiatives like these.”

Additionally, Otero recognized the efforts of the 4-H Club, which helped carry out the fair as a strategy to educate youth about the application of science.

“This fair comes together as a tactic that we are using to raise public awareness”Jiménez Cruz, for his part, commented on the importance of the event to educate citizens. “(We want) to do our part in helping people learn,” he added.