Dear Editor:

Come to Paradise — that is the gala at the Paradise Gardens. Learn how to Bee One In a Million.

The gala offers a lively discussion by Marie Harrison, a tour of a pollinator garden with refreshments, and plants one can purchase to encourage pollinators to visit your yard.

It takes place on May 14, 2016 between 2 and 4 p.m. and is located at Heritage Museum, 115 Westview Ave., Valparaiso.

Bee One In a Million is a challenge launched by groups of gardening and conservation organizations. The challenge hopes to foster and promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators. The goal is to register one million private and public individuals and or groups that work to support pollinators and to educate the general public of the roles and importance of these creatures.

Pollinators are creatures who move pollen to fertilize seeds. Cross pollination occurs when the pollen is transferred from their bodies when they move from plant to plant.

About 90 percent our flowering food plants require pollen transfer to produce their food products and it is said that one food bite out of three are due to our pollinators.

Pollinator creatures can be birds, insects, bats or small mammals numbering about 200,000 species. Insects such as beetles, ants, bees, wasps, butterflies and other insects are the predominant group.

Many in this group are at risk and their populations are declining. Habitat loss, disease and parasites as well as environmental contaminants are thought to be the primary reason for the population change.

Bee One In a Million and Paradise Gardens are proactive in the educational programs offered. Suggestions are provided on the Bee One in a Million website

But if you come to Paradise Gardens, which is a project of the Valparaiso Garden Club, you will see a garden designed to be a butterfly habitat with identified host plants.

Marie Harrison, author of “The Plight of the Pollinators and Ways to Help” is presenting ideas at 2:15 on how to change your yard, porch or even workplace to benefit these pollinators. Mrs. Harrison is an excellent speaker and author, as well as a great educator with a cause. Valparaiso Garden Club hopes you can make it to Paradise.

For those interested, the Valparaiso Garden Club will have both plants and seed packets that are pollinator-friendly for sale.