The Great Seed Bomb is a finalist in the 2016 Green Source DFW Awards on Nov. 3.
Nov. 1, 2016
If you are planning to get out and enjoy the end of the excellent weather in North Texas next weekend, why not pull out your bike and ride for a good cause while you’re at it.
The Great Seed Bomb, now in its second year, is a 15-mile bike ride benefitting bees, monarchs and other pollinators in the area.
As many nature lovers know, bees are battling for their lives, and the latest data indicates an average loss of 45 percent of bee hives across the U.S. last year.
Monarch butterflies have also severely declined, with its natural habitat throughout the U.S. like milkweed, crucial to its survival, shrinking.
Keller-based Great Seed Bomb founder and organizer Jillian Jordan, who has also worked for the Environmental Defense Fund and the Climate Institute and is a certified water quality monitor, said last year the event saw a little over 100 riders and this year she expects as many as 200.
Great Seed Bomb founder and organizer Jillian Jordan
“The response was huge and KERA ran our headline story two times,” she said. “We got viral shares of our project via big Facebook groups like the Food Is Free project and it led to national and international requests for rides. We even got several donations from Canada.”
The ride is held in the fall because this is the best time to plant milkweed.
During the ride, the riders throw out milkweed and wildflower seed balls that are made of clay, organic compost and native, non-GMO seeds. The goal is that the seed balls that are launched from the bikes will translate into blooming wildflowers and milkweed come spring, providing natural habitats and food sources for these important pollinators.
Jordan said she believes the seeds thrown out at last year’s Great Seed Bomb ride did result in wildflowers this past spring.
“We have photos and it seems like there was an increase in native plants this year and the mowing schedule was moved to help that,” she said. “There was also a lot of rain that may have helped us - this year we're doing impact assessments, which is a pre and post-event BioBlitz using iNature App for citizen scientists and we're using drone footage and attempting to overlay a GIS map of wildflower zones.”
With the same route location as last year, riders can expect 10 miles of riding. If you aren’t into riding and would rather walk, Jordan said that’s okay too and folks can walk the trail after the first group of bikers are en route.
There will also be a band, costume contest and an after party with vendors, food trucks and beer and experiential learning activities such as how to identify native bees and how to build bee and butterfly-friendly home gardens.
Monarch on native milkweed. Courtesy of Bay Journal.
Overall, Jordan said the mission of the Great Seed Bomb has a diverse impact from boosting the habitat by seed bombing to educating the public to fundraising for the Native Prairies Association of Texas.
“The Great Seed Bomb’s mission is to offset habitat fragmentation for bees, monarchs and other pollinators by educating, equipping and empowering everyday environmentalists,” Jordan said.
The Great Seed Bomb
About: 15-mile fun ride to raise awareness about bees, monarch butterflies and other pollinators with eco-friendly educational activities, vendors, food trucks.
When: Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, 1-5 p.m.
Where: Clear Fork Nature Trail, Fort Worth