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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign Park District says pollinator populations are in trouble, so they made us a part of their project to bring the numbers back up.

There’s the new buzz. Randy Hauser calls it a movement: using plants as an open invitation to attract some much-needed visitors.

“Pollinators are in decline, worldwide,” said Hauser.

That’s why he and these park district volunteers hope their plan to bring them back takes flight.

“Whenever we have the opportunity, and we have old, tired gardens somewhere that are past-tense, or bushes that are just past their prime, we try to breathe new life into it,” said Hauser.

But it’s not always the kind of life you’d immediately think of. Many of these plants are meant to attract certain kinds of pollinators. The park district wants you to know there’s more to the picture than just bees and butterflies.

“It could be a gnat. It could be a fly, a hummingbird, anything that transfers information from one part of a plant, to another,” said Hauser.

For that to happen, it takes all kinds of flowers.

“These are our zinnias. They’re kind of an annual, just to attract the bees and the butterflies with the color,” said Julie Nisbit.

Nisbit decided to devote her time not just to planting flowers, but to helping plant an idea.

“We want to do things locally that send a message about things internationally,” said Hauser.

Monticello is also taking steps to increase pollinator counts. Last month, Mayor Larry Stoner signed a pledge to support bringing more monarch butterfly habitats into the city.

This was done through an event at Monarch Brewing Company. It was open to the public, so they could get more information about how to protect the threatened species.

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