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  • Writer's pictureKriss Marion

Celebrate International Pollinator Week! June 20-26

International Pollinator Week 2022 is June 20-26, and Wisconsin Women in Conservation is celebrating with a FREE Women’s Summer Camp Lunch webinar on June 23 from noon to 1pm on Zoom. All women farmers, landowners and conservationists are welcome to attend, and enjoy presentations from Wisconsin experts on the topic of “Enhancing Pollinators.” Celebrate with us!

Presenters will be Deirdre Birmingham, owner/operator of The Cider Farm in rural Mineral Point, and Laura Jach Smith, Wisconsin NRCS Pollinator Liaison with The Pollinator Partnership. Participants will be able to ask questions live in the Chat, and a recording of the presentation will be sent to all participants.

Orchardist Deirdre Birmingham of The Cider Farm

“Besides just being a vital part of the ecosystem, pollinators were responsible for the pollination of our early blooming apple varieties this year. The hives that usually set on neighboring farms did not come until thousands of our trees were done flowering. So the apples we are getting on those trees are thanks to our wild pollinators,” said Birmingham, who has enhanced the pollinator habitat on her certified organic property by planting a 30-acre prairie, putting prairie strips around orchard, adding milkweed seeds for monarchs, alternating the mowing in alleyways so every other row is flowering, enhancing beneficial insect populations, using certified organic products, and "leaving dandelions alone."

The Cider Farm offers seasonal orchard tastings, and also has The Cidery and Tasting Room on Madison’s west side. For more information visit

The webinar is part of WiWiC’s second year of their Conservation Summer Camp series, monthly lunch hour Zooms held the last Thursday of each month. Topics are chosen based on surveys at WiWiC events. The Zooms are a virtual opportunity to join women landowners from across the state who share a passion for stewarding the land and to connect with expert advice, resources, and opportunities.

WiWiC is a state-wide collaborative effort led by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in partnership with Wisconsin Farmers Union, Renewing the Countryside and the Marbleseed (formerly MOSES). A three-year multi-faceted project funded by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), WiWiC brings together Wisconsin women landowners to connect and learn about conservation practices, resources, and funding opportunities. In 2021, the program engaged 1,337 participants with 17 Zoom Events and 5 Field Days, as well as 2,300 on social media through Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. For 2022, the group plans 12 Learning Circles, 6 on-farm field days, 4 Conservation Summer Camp Lunch Zooms, and various happy hours and virtual events.

Seven Regional Networks have been convened across the state through WiWiC, with the goal of providing women’s peer-to-peer “Learning Circle” opportunities throughout the year in a variety of settings. These events are structured to provide ample networking time, as well as access to local conservation professionals and resources. Experienced women Conservation Coaches provide regional mentorship. WiWiC prioritizes and funds landowner site visits and custom Conservation Plans produced by local women conservation professionals.

We have also launched a state-wide Educator Network to support those conservation professionals and volunteers who work with women landowners. Governor Evers has declared the July 18-24 Wisconsin Women in Conservation Week, and WiWiC will be hosting Happy Hours across the state to honor and celebrate those conservation professionals. Registration is FREE and open now under Events - Join Us!

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