COLUMBIA, MD. (WJZ) — Howard County has named “Bee Balm” as their official pollinator plant.

Pollinators, which include insects such as bees and butterflies, play an important role in our lives by helping plants reproduce.

In September 2019, Howard County became a certified “Bee City,” by committing to protecting pollinators on public and private land.

“One out of every three bites of food we take, is because of a pollinator,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.

These little workers, which include bees and butterflies, even birds, carry pollen from one plant to the next allowing them to reproduce.

“It’s really critically important that we take all the steps we can to protect our bees, and our butterflies and all of our insects out there that are pollinating so that we can have our fruits and our vegetables and our seeds,” said Meg Boyd, executive director of Howard County Conservancy.

Last week, with the help of the community, “Bee Balm” was named the county’s official pollinator plant.

“We actually had a contest where over 500 people voted,” Ball said.

The final votes came from Howard County Conservancy youth campers.

“We know that to have future environmental stewards, to have people that are going to take care of the Earth for generations to come, we need to inspire them when they’re young,” Boyd said.

The boys and girls spend their days outside, learning about nature and the importance of protecting the environment.

“We try to immerse our kids into nature programs as much as we can, and I think it really pays off,” said mom Lindsay DeMarzo.

If you’re looking for something you can do to help the pollinators, plant a garden with flowers that attract bees and butterflies.

Sean Streicher

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