The Hartford is partnering with Earthwatch, an international environmental organization, on a citizen-science project to document pollinators with the goal of understanding if key species are declining and how climate change may be affecting pollinator populations. One area of focus for the Global Pollinator Watch program is understanding the ecological health of the City of Hartford’s Asylum Hill neighborhood.
The Hartford is collaborating with the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association (AHNA), which has planted pollinator gardens in the community. Asylum Hill residents will serve alongside The Hartford’s employees as they volunteer to document pollinators by uploading the images to the iNaturalist app as data points to be analyzed by Earthwatch researchers.
“The Hartford recognizes the importance of pollinators in preserving a healthy ecosystem, sustaining plant life and contributing to food production, and we are proud to do our part to increase awareness and share information resources,” said The Hartford’s Head of Sustainability, Karen Jarmoc. “The Hartford continues to be a leader in addressing the drivers of climate change, including those that affect the pollinator population and their host plants.”
Pollination is vital to the global biodiversity of plant life, ecosystem sustainability and food production. The majority of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, moths, bats and birds. However, populations of pollinators are shrinking because of pesticides, loss of habitat, climate variability, diseases, parasites, pollution and other factors1.
“The Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association has a very active group of environmentalists who have planted several Pollinator Gardens in Asylum Hill,” said AHNA Executive Director David MacDonald. “AHNA is very grateful for the support of The Hartford with the Earthwatch program. It will help us engage more of The Hartford’s employees in projects to strengthen Asylum Hill's environmental sustainability and document the impact of our pollinator gardens.”
The pollinator program builds on a long-standing partnership between The Hartford and residents of Asylum Hill and the City of Hartford. In 2020, The Hartford commemorated its 100th year of being headquartered in Asylum Hill with a $10 million, 5-year commitment to address top priorities of residents and non-profits based on findings from The Hartford’s Asylum Hill Neighborhood Survey. Respondents said the three most critical needs were housing stability, job readiness and greater public safety. Last year, The Hartford announced a $1 million grant to a housing initiative led by Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (NINA), to make homeownership more accessible in Hartford’s Asylum Hill Neighborhood.
“Earthwatch is so pleased to be partnering with The Hartford on our Global Pollinator Watch program,” said Earthwatch’s Director of Research, Dr. Stan Rullman. “The Hartford’s employees will play a critical role in collecting pollinator data to help us better understand the health of pollinator communities, while identifying areas where pollinators could benefit from supportive interventions.”
Earthwatch is an international nonprofit organization that connects people with scientists worldwide to conduct environmental research and empowers them with the knowledge they need to conserve the planet. Since its founding in 1971, Earthwatch has been taking action to address global change through a time-tested model of citizen science and community engagement. By pairing individuals from all sectors of society with researchers around the world, Earthwatch teams have helped to safeguard critical habitats, conserve biodiversity, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources. For more information, visit Earthwatch.org.
About Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association
Formed in 1997, the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association is the Neighborhood Revitalization Zone for the historic Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford. AHNA is resident-led with strong collaboration from our stakeholders in the community. The mission of AHNA is to empower and connect residents and stakeholders to improve the quality of life in Asylum Hill. AHNA’s recently adopted ten-year Strategic Plan sets out a bold vision of what Asylum Hill can become in the future.
About The Hartford
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1 U.S. Department of Agriculture – Pollinators at a Crossroads, July 2021
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