Growing more inclusive communities around pollinator conservation

Program Contact

Adrian Carper

Research Associate


Specifically, this project responds to the growing need within the City of Boulder to address concerns over equitable and diverse access to pollinator/biodiversity conservation education, restoration resources, and community empowerment. Pollinators have become central to community concern over human environmental impacts such as habitat loss, climate change, and pesticides. As part of the City’s Climate Initiatives nature-based solutions, they launched the Pollinator Advocates (PA) Program in 2022 to train community members in methods to create and maintain biodiverse pollinator habitats. This free 12-week immersive course teaches practical skills in the design, installation, and maintenance of native plants to encourage the transition to climate-resilient landscaping.

One major outcome from participant surveys was the need for inclusive information about pollinators, ecosystems, and how communities can contribute to research on the effectiveness of local restoration activities. This requires the synthesis of complex ecological theory for practical understanding by a diverse audience with different educational, cultural, or socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition to the educational need, fluctuations in the cost of and access to native plants important to native pollinators is a huge impediment to restoration efforts. Moreover, the economic barriers to accessing education and organically sourced plants, is particularly problematic for traditionally underserved communities, many of which bear the worst effects of biodiversity loss due to environmental degradation and climate change.

Through this project, we hope to create strategies to diversify stakeholder engagement with restoration activities, especially in urban areas, where underrepresented communities lack biodiverse green spaces and their associated benefits. In partnership with the PA program, we will provide outreach and engagement activities centered around community propagation of native plants at CU, and will train participants in both the need for and value of pollinator conservation, and how communities can come together to increase their impacts on restoration activities.

  • Pollinator Advocate Participatory Science Hike

    Additional Info

    Current Participants in the City of Boulder's Pollinator Advocate Program will accompany Dr. Adrian Carper into the field in August. Dr. Carper will lead participants in an informal training session in the observation and documentation of native pollinators and plant-pollinator interactions with the free app iNaturalist, using a range of technology from cell phones to digital cameras.


    in colorado



    8/3/2023 - 8/3/2023

    Public or Private

    Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

Sponsoring Units

  • College of Arts & Sciences

  • Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Program Partners

  • CU Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • CU Program for Writing and Rhetoric
  • CU Museum of Natural History
  • City of Boulder Climate Initiative Department
  • Cool Boulder Campaign
  • Pollinator Advocate Program
  • Suelo Bueno Consulting
  • Butterfly Pavilion
  • Living Carbon Foundation
  • Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Audiences Served

  • Adult Learners
  • Families
  • General Public
  • Government
  • Historically Excluded/Marginalized/Non-dominant Group(s)
  • Incarcerated People And Their Communities
  • Manufactured Homes/ Mobile Home Communities
  • Native American/American Indian
  • Non-Profit Organization
  • Socioeconomically Disadvantaged
  • Urban Communities