Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just got back from Earth Day @ Loudoun Family Festival and I'm exhausted! But I made contacts with a lot of great folks and if you're seeing this website after the festival, welcome, welcome, and thanks for stopping by! You can also follow us in Facebook by clicking the image above- it'll take you to our Facebook page.

I spent the last few days doing exhaustive amounts of research for my pollinators display. I thought I knew enough about pollinators to teach others about them, too, but the more I was reading, the more questions I had. I had a lot of fun sharing my newfound knowledge with people I met and even though for the first few hours it was so cold, people were so friendly and seemed happy to be there!

Nice meeting all of you! :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Alexandria's Earth Day- April 30, 2011

I received acceptance into the Alexandria Earth Day festival on April 30th! I'm pretty excited about it because it's very close to where I live, plus I wasn't expecting to get into this one since their Earth Day festival has a theme- "Trashion Fashion"- and "pollinators" doesn't exactly fit into that.

I'll be there with license plate applications and  for those who wish to complete them on-site, I'll be collecting them and the associated fees as well. (The ones I bring will be printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper.) To fill out the application you'll need your vehicle's VIN number and your title number.

Now it's time for me to start putting together my activities- each Earth Day show that I'm doing requires you to have a kids' activity. I'm hoping the ones I come up with will be both fun and educational for kids as well as adults.

One board will have interactive pollinator facts and trivia, the other will feature pictures of different foods that pollinators bring to us, since they're responsible for 1/3 of the food we eat!

Here is a neat website with some pollinator facts:

See you at the Alexandria show!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Action for Pollinators

I got the following in an email from the Pollinator Partnership and wanted to pass it along. I don't see this specific information anywhere on their website, so here's a C&P of the email:

POLLINATOR ACTION REQUEST:  Oppose funding cuts to farm bill conservation programs in current budget
Participate in a nationwide effort by calling your U.S. Senators this Wednesday-Thursday (March 9 -10), and tell them you oppose cuts to funding for farm bill conservation programs that help ranchers and farmers improve habitat for native and managed pollinators and other wildlife.

Just make two calls to the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121; and ask for each of your Senators. 
You can either make your points to the staffer who answers the phone or ask to be put through to the legislative assistant who handles agriculture. 

Suggested talking points:
Hi, my name is XXX; and I live in YYY.
  • I am calling to urge the Senator to oppose cuts in this year’s budget to funding for farm bill conservation programs that help farmers and ranchers improve habitat for native and managed pollinators and other wildlife.
  • Bees and other pollinators that help produce much of the food we eat and healthy wildlife ecosystems are in trouble, and scientists point to habitat loss as a major cause.
  • The 2008 Farm Bill for the first time included provisions to help increase habitat for native pollinators and honey bees through USDA’s conservation programs.
  • I am particularly concerned because the House recently passed a budget containing significant funding cuts in many of these conservation programs.
Add any other points to express your personal views.
Your calls will be part of a coordinated grassroots effort by conservation, wildlife and environmental organizations in the Farm Bill Conservation Coalition.  The shared objective is for Senate offices to hear overwhelming support (like a buzzing swarm of bees!) on March 9-10 from constituents for conservation funding.
NO, you don’t need to be an expert.  You just need to care enough to pick up the phone!  ;-)
YES, your calls can make a difference.  Each Senator’s staff tracks calls on key issues like conservation funding, and constituent views are a factor in Senators’ votes.
With serious budget deficit pressures, Congress is looking for places to cut.  Through your grassroots actions, we can try to at least minimize cuts to conservation.  If Senators don’t hear from constituents, conservation funding could be a serious casualty.
PS—You can also help by forwarding this action opportunity to your network of contacts.
Pollinators will thank you!
Feel free to send us an after-action report on your efforts.
Tom Van Arsdall, Pollinator Partnership Director of Public Affairs

Friday, March 4, 2011

Earth Day @ Loudoun Family Festival!

It's official! On Sunday April 10th, we'll be at the Loudoun Earth Day celebration promoting the license plates and taking applications, and teaching both kids and adults all about pollinators!

Stop by and see our booth! 
I'll have a demo-plate there for you to get your hands on and check out, and at least one kids' activity, if not two.

Right now I plan to have an interactive display of pollinator facts and trivia, pictures of pollinators (of course!), and a display showing some of the many, many foods that pollinators bring to us.

I have high hopes that everyone who stops by will learn something! :)
See you there!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

YAY! The news we've been waiting for!

I am thrilled! This morning I received the following email from the office of Senator Emmett Hanger:
Hello again. We will be happy to file your request for legislation to consider for 2012. Obviously, all 140 General Assembly seats are up for re-election in Nov. After that, we will start filing prospective drafts for legislation and at that time he can review your request again.
Thanks so much!
Holly Herman, Legislative Aide

Image from
This is wonderful news! A few Beekeeping Club presidents and members recommended that I contact Senator Hanger regarding this since he's done so much in the past for Virginia beekeepers.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Senator Hanger!!

I have one more business item to take care of before I can start collecting applications and fees in a frenzied state, and that is to secure an account in which to deposit the checks for the plate fees. It would be so simple if we could all just make out our check to the DMV for the license plates since they're the ones the money is ultimately going to, right!? But no. We have to put the checks into one account, and then from there write one single big gigantic check to the DMV when we submit the applications in the fall/winter of this year.

Right now it looks like we will either be making our checks out to the Pollinator Partnership themselves (or maybe another organization can help us out), or else I'll look into creating a special non-interest account at the bank for this specific purpose.

(Maybe since they created a new law to increase the required amount of applications & fees to 450, someone else can make a new law to collect the checks all payable directly to the DMV rather than just one big one. I can see why they do it that way but I feel like it makes the whole process seem sketchy from the point of view of people who want the plates!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Demo Plate!!

It's a bird! It's a bug! It's..... a license plate!

Not one that I can actually put onto my car and drive around with though. It's one that sent me that I can use when I'm out promoting the plates! You can go on their website and customize a license plate (or personalize from their ready-to-go templates) and make any kind of plate that you want! They're a wonderful company who wanted to work with me on sharing some product samples and liked the idea of the Pollinator Plates, so they sent me some promotional items for a good cause. :)

Spring is coming and I hope to find lots of events to attend to and get people to sign up for a plate. Because, Uggghhhhh! The requirement for 450 instead of 350 applications & fees looks like it's all but a done deal (like this process isn't already difficult enough!!). I've got a banner to grab attention, stickers to hand out for funsies, and now this aluminum license plate that people can see and feel. I love it! I want to put it on my car sooooo bad, but I know I can't. But maybe I will tomorrow, while it's nice out, just real quick, to take a picture of it.

Anyway if you're reading this and living in VA and have an idea of an event I should attend please let me know! Send me an email or you can comment on this post and I'll see it. Also if it turns out I can't make an event and you'd like to be a Pollinator-Plate-Ambassador to promote it and collect apps and fees, I'll be happy to fill you in on what you'd have to do. Again just contact me :)

Thanks and hope to come bearing some good news relatively soon.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Well here's some news.

I found this website that tracks the bills in the General Assembly.

Super interesting because in the "Bills By Topic" section there is a tag cloud with "license plate."

I clicked it and found this:
Increases from 350 to 450 the minimum number of prepaid applications DMV must receive before issuing standard special license plates.
Boooooo! Hiiiiiissssssssssss!!!!!!!!

I'm so flustered!

I was so happy that without even trying yet, I've already gotten a list of 45 people who would like a license plate and it doesn't even include friends, or relatives, or friends of relatives and friends, etc. Now I'll probably have to get 10 times that amount! As if 350 wasn't daunting enough!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Hi and thanks for stopping by!  Above you can see the latest rendition on the plate design- you can click it to enlarge it.

I just created a Frequently Asked Questions page, so if you're looking for information about the new plates we are trying to introduce, hopefully you can find answers there! :)

Right now I'm trying to create a BUZZ and generate some interest in the plates so that once we have government representation we can start promoting and collecting information from anyone who wants a plate!

More details to come, stay tuned- and if you'd like to help me promote the plate, just email .


>o3))-   bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing off for now...