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Wildlife Center of Virginia bingo game encourages importance of pollinators

By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press

Pollinator bingo 2 Hummingbird
Photo courtesy Wildlife Center of Virginia.

WAYNESBORO — At the Wildlife Center of Virginia, the patients who come in provide information for staff about what is happening outside in nature.

“We often tend to see a lot of baby animals in the spring,” said Alex Wehrung, the center’s outreach public affairs manager.

Pollinated native plants provide food for animals, so pollinators, such as bees, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, chipmunks, rats and opossums, are an important food source for animals.

“To prevent baby animals coming to the center is to get them a better head start in the world,” Wehrung said.

So the center created National Pollinator Bingo, a game for individuals, students and families to play anywhere, anytime. Cards are available online.

“In typical Bingo fashion, you get a row, you get a prize,” Wehrung said of the game.

Participants have 25 spaces of directions to follow. Some spaces require planting a flower. Participants are required to take a photo of each activity. Prizes include a tour of the center. Each space encourages participants to make life a little easier for pollinators.

“It matters no matter where you live in Virginia,” Wehrung said. Native plants and pollinators are necessary for food for animals and for humans. “Pollination on its own is obviously very important.” According to Wehrung, 90 percent of flowering plants need animal assistance to pollinate. The majority of crops for humans rely on pollinators, who create a healthier ecosystem for everyone.

The center’s bingo game does not have a deadline except for what flowers are best for each planting season and region.

To play National Pollinator Bingo, visit www.wildlifecenter.org.


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