With the bee population in dire straits, Portland-area religious groups are going to do their part to help out.

Local faith groups are launching a campaign to promote pollinators to improve the prospects for gardens and plants.

The Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns, a program of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, has launched a pilot project for what is called “faith-based pollinator protection,” along with the Faith Task Force of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, The Tributary Fund and Pollinator Parnership.

The Portland area will serve as a national model site, with members of 13 faith organizations adding or expanding pollinator habitat on their property this spring. Projects range from adding bee boxes to creating new habitat with native plants.

To kick off the campaign, the Portland Metro Interfaith Garden Celebration will take place Saturday, May 11, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Muslim Community Center’s Seeds of Understanding Garden, at North Vancouver Avenue just south of Killingsworth Street in North Portland. Attendees will learn why pollinators are important and how faith-based organizations can play a key role.

Participating faith organizations include: Aloha

Church of God, Ascension Catholic Church, Bridgeport United Church of Christ, Community Friends

Church, Dharma Rain Zen Center, First AME Zion Church, Holy Redeemer Catholic School, Muslim

Community Center/Seeds of Understanding, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, St. Charles

Borromeo Parish, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Tigard United Methodist Church, and West

Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

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