Last week I had the privilege to attend the Tribal Alliance for Pollinators workshop in northeast Oklahoma.
TAP provides training and technical support for tribes throughout North America that want to conserve and restore grassland ecosystems in order to help threatened pollinators and to preserve the native plants that serve as the foundation for Indigenous cultural, medicinal and culinary traditions.
The workshop began with a seed collection day with the Eastern Shawnee and Seneca-Cayuga Tribes on a tallgrass prairie in the far northeast corner of Oklahoma, which I unfortunately did not attend. I was able to attend the second day of hands-on seed cleaning and storing, habitat restoration, and hoop-house growing at the Euchee Butterfly Farm south of Tulsa. And the third day was a bit more typical of the meetings I attend with indoor PowerPoint presentations, but a great learning experience nonetheless.
I have been particularly keen to learn seed cleaning and storing techniques as I get the Oklahoma Native Seed Library up and running. David Correll, Chickasaw Nation horticulture staff, gave an excellent demonstration. I took lots of notes on methods and equipment. I have already submitted my order for seed cleaning screens and special storage envelopes! I also took lots of photographs of the thresher so we can make one for our library!
Seeing the success of projects around Oklahoma and learning from both workshop leaders and other attendees has inspired me to continue and expand my pollinator habitat restoration and education efforts.
I am looking forward to growing more plants this winter and spring for habitat plantings in 2019. I will continue to work on the corner of our shared department greenhouse, but I am going to start looking for space and funding to have our own pollinator restoration hoop-house next year!
Plus I am excited to announce the next biodiversity poster in our series will be Oklahoma’s Pollinators! We are going to partner with TAP and other organization to produce another beautiful poster highlighting the insects and birds that pollinate in Oklahoma.