The Hartford Partners With Earthwatch on Pollinator Program

The Hartford Partners With Earthwatch on Pollinator Program

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The Hartford said it is partnering with Earthwatch, an international environmental organization, on a citizen-science project to document pollinators with the goal of understanding if key species are declining and how climate change may be affecting pollinator populations. One area of focus for the Global Pollinator Watch program is understanding the ecological health of the city of Hartford’s Asylum Hill neighborhood.

The Hartford is collaborating with the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association (AHNA), which has planted pollinator gardens in the community. Asylum Hill residents will serve alongside The Hartford’s employees as they volunteer to document pollinators by uploading the images to the iNaturalist app as data points to be analyzed by Earthwatch researchers.

“The Hartford recognizes the importance of pollinators in preserving a healthy ecosystem, sustaining plant life and contributing to food production, and we are proud to do our part to increase awareness and share information resources,” said The Hartford’s Head of Sustainability, Karen Jarmoc.

Pollination is vital to the global biodiversity of plant life, ecosystem sustainability and food production. The majority of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, moths, bats and birds. However, populations of pollinators are shrinking because of pesticides, loss of habitat, climate variability, diseases, parasites, pollution and other factors.

The Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association has an active group of environmentalists who have planted several pollinator gardens in Asylum Hill, according to AHNA Executive Director David MacDonald. MacDonald said the involvement of more of The Hartford’s employees will strengthen Asylum Hill’s efforts in environmental sustainability and documenting the impact of the pollinator gardens.

The pollinator program builds on a partnership between The Hartford and residents of Asylum Hill and the city of Hartford. In 2020, The Hartford commemorated its 100th year of being headquartered in Asylum Hill with a $10 million, 5-year commitment to address top priorities of residents and non-profits. A survey showed that the three most critical needs were housing stability, job readiness and greater public safety. Last year, The Hartford announced a $1 million grant to a housing initiative to make homeownership more accessible in the Asylum Hill neighborhood.

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