Hear the buzz? Northern Arizona Pollinator Habitat Initiative receives the prestigious Crescordia Award from Arizona Forward

Tyler Linner (left) and Jocelyne Shiner of NAZPHI, standing among Autumn flowers in the SSLUG Garden on south campus.

Nov. 15, 2018

Seeing is bee-lieving, and the Northern Arizona Pollinator Habitat Initiative (NAZPHI) has the award to show it.

Earlier this fall, NAZPHI was named winner of the 2018 Crescordia Award for Environmental Excellence from Arizona Forward in Phoenix. The award stems from nearly two years of hard work, dedication and collaboration of NAU faculty, staff, students and community members who share a passion for protecting and preserving endangered pollinators. Their work helps to reduce threats to these pollinators while promoting their overall health, as well as increasing and improving their habitats.

NAZPHI’s efforts, many of which are through volunteers, have affected northern Arizona in many ways, most of which go unseen by the average resident. Throughout the Flagstaff community, volunteers have distributed and planted hundreds of pollinator-friendly seed packets, creating gardens in various neighborhoods. These plots include the NAU SNAIL garden, the Pedal Powered Pollinator Patch (4P) at Willow Bend Environmental Education Center and a garden at the APS substation on Pine Knoll Drive. In addition, NAZPHI has created what they call the Pollinator Commitment, which helps local government and educational institutions stay away from using harmful chemicals, a Pollinator Region Implementation Plan and a Pollination Information Station for the Colorado Plateau pollinator habitat species.

NAZPHI was created in January 2017; people from various backgrounds in NAU and throughout the community attended meetings and discussed plans and strategies to support the well-being of local pollinators.

NAZPHI is organized into subgroups, which work together to capitalize on the skills of its volunteers and secure funding, including grants from APS and the NAU Green Fund. In October 2017, Tyler Linner, a graduate student in NAU’s Sustainable Communities master’s program, wrote a proposal for an $8,000 grant from Arizona Community Foundation.

NAZPHI’s upcoming initiatives include the planning and development of a pollinator corridor from Flagstaff’s Cheshire neighborhood to Route 66. As the project continues, new partners and leaders are welcome.

For more information on NAZPHI and how to get involved, please visit nau.edu/nazphi or their Facebook page.

Cheyenne Jarrette