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Zoo and 10 Organizations Introduce Statewide Initiative to Bring Back Native Pollinators
Posted: 04/08/2014

Iowa’s Blank Park Zoo is teaming up with 10 organizations to introduce Plant.Grow.Fly., a conservation initiative to bring back native pollinators. This project encourages community members to plant pollinator habitat in yards, schools and businesses.

This initiative is backed by several organizations including: Iowa State University’s Reiman Gardens, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Science Center of Iowa, Drake University, Polk County Conservation, Warren County Conservation, Madison County Conservation, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and DMACC West Campus as well as a national program, Monarch Joint Venture.

"One-third of our global food supply depends on pollinators and much of our world's biodiversity relies on the services they provide. Pollinators, like butterflies and bees, are declining at an alarming rate in our rapidly changing environment," said Jessie Lowry, Blank Park Zoo’s Conservation Coordinator.  

Lowry said the Plant.Grow.Fly. project is developing a gardening how-to guide that can be found at

"Insects are an integral part of our environment, making more resources available will help to insure the survival of these amazing animals," said Nathan Brockman, Butterfly Wing Curator at Reiman Gardens.

"Using region-specific garden recipes, you can plant the flowers and grasses that benefit our local species the most," said Lowry. "We believe that no effort is too small and that each of us can do our part to preserve the biodiversity around us - just by planning gardens in our yards."

Photos of butterflies and the Plant.Grow.Fly logo can be found at

Plant.Grow.Fly website can be found at

For more information contact Jessie Lowry, Blank Park Zoo 515-490-4370, or Ryan Bickel, Blank Park Zoo, 515-988-9485