Christopher Stein joined us to tell us a little about Operation Pollination. Chris has been with the National Park Service for over 40 years. He started with the National Parks Service right here at Minuteman National Historical Park. He then transferred to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park in Tennessee in the mid 1990’s where he joined Rotary. From there he was off to Yosemite National Park where he became president of the Yosemite Valley Rotary Club in 2005. Chris now lives in Northeast Iowa, is still a Rotarian in District 5970, is a member of that district’s “Path’s & Pollinator’s Committee,” and is a member of RI’s Environmentally Sustainable Rotary Action Committee (ESRAG). Chris gave his talk via zoom from Minnesota.


85% of the worlds plants depend on pollinators for their existence and since the 1970’s 40% of these pollinators have disappeared. Operation Pollination exists to combat this problem. Chris used the Monarch Butterfly as an example. Each year this little insect migrates to and from North America to a mountain top in Mexico (over 6,000 miles). Since the 1990’s their numbers have dwindled by over 90%. In parts of Australia people are using “Robotic Bees” as pollinators to pollinate tomatoes to make up for the shortfall of pollinating insects.

Operation Pollination is an inclusive framework developed by Rotarians to restore Pollinators habitats and to educate people about the importance of pollinators. So what can we do? This can be covered in three easy steps:

  1. Sign a Pollinator Resolution (which our district has already done)
  2. Fill out and sign a Pollinator Pledge Form and get other organizations in Bedford to sign it as well. It also contains an area for our own club project(s)
  3. Put the names of all these organizations on the back of our District’s Pollinator Resolution.
Check out the recording of Chris' presentation to the club: