Passion for Pollinators
David Maier: Growing up in Chicago with limited exposure to prairies, I never understood the importance of pollinators. My husband, Cedar Rapids native Matt McGrane, and I moved to Iowa in 2018, and since then, I have developed an appreciation that pollinators are essential for ecological diversity and survival. I am so thankful for organizations like the Monarch Research Project and Bur Oak Land Trust that help educate our community of the benefits of pollinators and actions we can take to support pollinators.
What inspired you to help plant pawpaws in Cedar Rapids at Matthew 25 and Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center?
DM: I understand that pawpaws are the only fruit native to Iowa. How cool!
After the 2020 derecho, Matt and I initiated and participated in numerous initiatives to help replant our tree canopy with tree species that are native to Eastern Iowa. Matthew 25 and Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center expressed interest in planting pawpaw trees on their grounds, and I was able to source 25 pawpaw trees for these nonprofit organizations in the fall of 2021 at no cost from the Monarch Research Project’s Planting Forward initiative.
I learned about Bur Oak Land Trust’s Foster a Pawpaw program from the March 2022 article in Little Village Magazine, and Matt and I have been fostering eight young pawpaw trees [from Bur Oak] since late spring 2022.
Thank you for your donation to Bur Oak Land Trust’s Pollinator Week. What do you hope your support accomplishes?
DM: You are very welcome! We hope that our donation will help expand Bur Oak Land Trust’s Pollinator Week activities into Linn County and the Cedars Rapids area.
What do you wish people knew about conservation?
DM: There are easy steps that anyone can take to help make their backyards pollinator-friendly, including planting native species plants and flowers, consider replacing lawn grass with flower beds, putting a bird bath in your backyard, and talking to friends, family and neighbors about the importance of pollinators.
Each June, Bur Oak Land Trust celebrates Pollinator Week to raise awareness of the many bees, butterflies, bugs, birds and even bats that provide an important function for plants and ultimately humans. One time and recurring monthly donations make it so we can protect and restore critical habitat for those species year-round.