The Great Sunflower Project Update

Thank you Kenosha! With your help, Kenosha Public Library gave out 600 packets of seeds in May and June for The Great Sunflower Project. This is a science data project for everyone!


Over the past few years, scientific studies have suggested that both honey bee and native bee populations (like our very own Rusty Patched Bumble Bee) are in trouble. What we don't know is how this is affecting pollination of our gardens, crops and wild lands. In 2008, scientists started this project as a way to gather information about our urban, suburban and rural bee populations and to give you the tools to learn about what is happening with the pollinators in your yard.


How You Can Help

The project originally started with people only collecting data by observing a specific sunflower species, the Lemon Queen Sunflower. Scientists chose sunflowers because they are easy to grow and are great resources for bees and birds. Sunflowers produce a lot of nectar and pollen which attracts bees. Wild sunflowers also require visits by bees to set seed.  The project has since expanded to include all pollinator friendly plants, so be sure to pick a plant that you are sure you can identify when reporting data. Gather data anywhere: in the yard, at the park or on a hike!


Anyone can participate, but if you planted seeds from Kenosha Public Library then you planted either Lemon Queen Sunflowers or Dwarf Morning Glory or both!  (Scientific names and direct link to the vendor and seeds that were provided will be included at the end of the post.)  As a participant in this project, you will report the date, what flowers you observed, where you were, and what pollinators visited during the observation period. It is super important to report everything, especially if there were NO VISITORS during your observation period. This observation process is called a Stationary Count.


Thank you so much for choosing to participate! The data you collect from your observations will provide an insight into how our green spaces in the urban, suburban and rural landscapes are connected as well as shedding light on how to help pollinators.