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Pollination gets a push from La Crosse area groups during an event on French Island



The birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees all are getting help from a regional collaboration involving the Rotary Club and other groups.

Members of several organizations gathered on the Mississippi River side of French Island on Thursday, to sign an agreement to work on fighting against the disappearance of pollinators, needed to sustain the food supply.

“It’s a number of organizations coming together to do their part to help pollinators,” said Chris Stein, one of the founders of the movement called “Operation Pollination.” “What these organizations will now do, is they will reach out to the members or the groups that they work with, and ask them to get involved, too, so everybody up and down the entire Mississippi River tries to do something for pollinators.”

La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds was among signers of an agreement to work toward protection of pollinators

The campaign is concerned about shortages in pollinating plants, and animals such as butterflies and bees which do the pollinating. La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds signed the agreement as well, saying pollination helps maintain water and soil quality.

The ceremony happened at the riverside home of Roz Schnick, who has developed gardens on her property to promote the growth of bees and other pollinators. Near her gardens, she keeps a building called “The Monarchy,” named in honor of Monarch butterflies.

Chris Stein (left) and Roz Schnick speak at a French Island ceremony promoting pollination of plants

“If we’re gonna survive as the human race, we have to start thinking about all these things that link everything together, and what links everything together is, if we don’t have food, how are we going to survive,” said Schnick.

Stein says over the past 50 years, 40 per cent of pollinators around the U.S. have disappeared.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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