The Corazón Latino team was sure to make the most of pollinator week this year! With the help of its partners, Corazón Latino was able to highlight the importance of pollinators and engage audiences of all ages. The main events were the Pollinators Under Pressure film premier, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers Market, and Sábado Solsticio (Solstice Saturday).
Pollinators Under Pressure Film Premier:
Pollinators Under Pressure is a short film narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, produced by TreeMedia. The premier was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and after years of support from Forest Service experts, the film was ready for its title debut. Over 120 people RSVP’d for the event, and when the time came, there was hardly an empty seat in the room.
The event began with an introduction from the Executive Director of Corazón Latino, Felipe Benitez, and the President of Green Latinos, Mark Magaña, who provided an overview of the program and welcoming remarks. Shortly thereafter, everyone watched the Pollinators Under Pressure film.
The short film featured experts Kim Winter and Michael Hill from the US Forest Service (USFS) who seamlessly highlighted the current threats facing pollinators such as bees, bats, and butterflies, given current land management and industrial practices. The quality of the film truly lies in its concise messaging and information provided by USFS and Pollinator Partnership. After the film concluded, Corazón Latino organized a panel discussion to delve a little deeper into the pollinator topic.
Melissa Vargas, board member of Corazón Latino and political affairs project manager at the Environmental Defense Fund, moderated the discussion. The panel was comprised by Val Dolcini, CEO at Pollinator Partnership; Rudy Arredondo, President of National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association; Iqra Ahmed, Executive Assistant at Environmental Defense Fund; and Mathew Schmid, Principal at Tree Media. Melissa effortlessly curated an informative discussion about pollinators, food security, and best management practices while panelists offered perspectives from their respective areas of expertise. After the discussion concluded, audience members were able to ask questions and make comments.
As the panel participants returned to their seats in the audience, Felipe introduced the next section of the program - The Good of the Hive, a short film by artist Matt Willey who famously committed to painting 50,000 bees across the world, often in the form of murals. He chose 50,000 because that’s the number of bees needed to maintain a healthy hive. Matt himself was in attendance and, following the film, charismatically spoke to the audience about the relationship between pollinators and people. His talk left the audience feeling uplifted as we began to wind down the evening.
Before mingling over drinks and hors d’oeuvres, everyone listened to “Share the Love,” a song sung by Brooke Leifer to inspire young people to spread the message about pollinator conservation. Following the song, guests were welcomed to help themselves to pollinator-friendly hors d'oeuvres, honey wine, or mead, and juices or visit a local apiary, Andrea Langworthy of BannerBees, to purchase some locally made bee products.
USDA Pollinator Festival
The rain could keep Corazón Latino and the US Forest Service from celebrating pollinators! Friday June 22, was the USDA Pollinator Festival. Located near the USDA People’s Garden in Washington, D.C., the partners staffed a resource table and talked to people about pollinators such as bats, birds, bees, and butterflies.
USFS experts provided in-depth information about these creatures, while Corazón Latino helped direct people to the appropriate resources. When asked what actions people could take to help pollinators, experts often recommended planting a pollinator garden. Click here to find pollinator friendly plants native to your area.
Sábado de Solsticio
On Saturday, June 23, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History held a late-night event for families with kids of all ages. Activities were tailored to different age groups and interests, with scientists in attendance to provide extra insight about pollinators. Volunteers from Corazon Latino provided bilingual support to make the event more accessible to Spanish speakers.
Stations at the event included Orchid-gami, where people could create origami flowers; a walk through the Smithsonian pollinator garden with a pollinator expert; interactive story time for younger children; a Pollinators Under Pressure film screening and bilingual expert panel discussions; build-a-bee house, where kids learned how to create shelter for bees with paper straws and an old water bottle; among other fantastic hands-on activities.
Hundreds of people attended and were able to partake in this fantastic event!