One summer, Anna DeVolld noticed four bees clustered on a sunflower in her garden. She realized her sunflowers drew a variety of pollinators. Why were they all vying for the sunny blooms? She started researching.
Anna grew up in a home that fosters curiosity. “My family taught me from a very young age to notice and appreciate the beauty and intricacies of God’s creation.” She was also an avid reader of God’s WORLD News. “It was one of the things that developed my love of science in the first place!”
The United Nations reports that pollinators promote the reproduction of over 75% of the world’s food crops and 90% of flowering plants. Animals like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds transfer pollen from blossom to blossom and plant to plant. This allows fertilization to occur. New seeds result.
The young researcher found some disturbing trends. Many believe dramatic numbers of the total bee population have been wiped out. Habitat loss and pesticides are contributors.
Anna pondered what she could do to help preserve pollinators in her community. An idea was born. In 2018, she founded P.O.P. (Promote Our Pollinators). P.O.P. is an environmental program that educates about pollinators, why they are declining, and how to boost their numbers.
So Anna made a plan. She created an informative flier for adults, a children’s activity book, and a website. She distributes her educational materials (along with tote bags, buttons, and stickers) to schools, libraries, businesses, medical offices, and at community events.
P.O.P. offers curriculum kits for elementary and middle school teachers, as well as an online class option. “Plant-and-Take” talks are shorter live lessons. P.O.P. offers free six-pack pots with pollinator-friendly seedlings to plant. Over 2,000 packs have been distributed so far.
Anna is now 17. She has received awards and grants for her efforts. She plans to pursue college degrees in communications. Her long-term goal is to become a Public Relations Specialist for a community-minded organization or company. Her labors with P.O.P. have prepared her well.
The determined youth notes, “Often, young people feel they must wait until they’re adults to make a positive impact, but that simply isn’t true! My advice is to find something you’re passionate about, no matter how small, and see how you can use it to change the world. You’ll be amazed at what a difference you can make.”
Why? People of all ages are called to use their gifts and to be wise stewards of God’s good creation.