When we think about pollinators, what comes to mind? Bees? Butterflies?
Did you know that birds and bats also play an important role in ensuring reproduction of wildflowers through pollination? In fact, out of the 200,000 species of animals that act as pollinators, approximately 1,000 are hummingbirds, bats and small mammals such as mice.
These pollinators don’t usually get a lot of attention, but that is all going to change with the launch of Find Your 4-H Wings. The program, made possible by a three-year partnership between 4-H Canada and TransCanada, teaches Canadian 4-H participants about the importance that birds and bats play in our environment, and encourages members to become active environmental stewards in their communities.
“We are extremely excited to give 4-H participants the opportunity to get outside, get active, and discover the bird and bat species within their local communities through the Find Your 4-H Wings campaign,” said Shannon Benner, CEO, 4-H Canada. “4-H Canada is thankful that TransCanada is supporting our commitment to provide activities that build caring, responsible, and community-minded young leaders.”
“Pollinators such as birds are important to our ecosystem. They are vital contributors to a healthy environment in the communities where we live and work,” said Carey Booth, manager, environmental strategy and governance at TransCanada.
They are very visible, quite common, and offer easy opportunities to observe their bright colours, hear their songs or watch their flight – and these showy displays add enjoyment to our lives. They also capture our imagination as master of what every human would like to do…fly,” continued Booth.
Birds can travel great distances and play an important role in pollination, seed dispersal and pest control. Pollinators are also major stewards of the environment, helping produce food, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines we need to produce hundreds of goods on which we depend.
Participating clubs will receive a kit that includes binoculars, a Birds of Canada identification book and a bird/bat sighting passport. Participants will also have the opportunity to provide these special pollinators with a home by building birds and bat houses.
4-H is one of the largest youth development organizations in the world with over 24,000 members. Started in 1913, the goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills in youth through experiential learning programs. The name of the organization represents the four values members work to develop: head, heart, hands and health.
“We are proud of our long-standing partnership with 4-H,” says Andrea Jalbert, TransCanada’s vice-president, Community & Sustainability. “We have been supporting 4-H in the U.S. – and their mission to develop leadership skills among youth – for over a decade. We are excited to expand that partnership into Canada by launching a brand new program dedicated to teaching the next generation about biodiversity and sustainability.”
Environmental stewardship is of primary importance to TransCanada, and we believe we have a responsibility to protect the environment for the future. That’s why we support national and local organizations, like 4-H Canada, to conserve important habitat, protect species at risk and educate individuals about the importance of the environment.
As one of North America’s leading energy infrastructure companies, TransCanada respects the diversity of the landscapes in which we operate and how our business can support and enrich the ecosystems that maintain our quality of life.
Learn more about how we are upholding our responsibility to meet the energy demands of the North Americans while protecting the environment.