Torstenson center plants flowers to feature pollination

PECATONICA, Ill. (AP) — The importance of insects and bats in pollinating up to 90 percent of the world’s food supply will be brought home through a project at Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center. Hundreds of native pollinator-friendly flowers have been planted next to the learning center at the Pecatonica site, administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation. The Wildlife Preservation Fund of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Monsanto provided funding. There’s already a three-acre pollinator field planted in 2013 as part of the Pheasants Forever National Mentor Convention. Tom Hoffman is education director at the Winnebago County facility. He says school and youth groups and the public are welcome to observe and make insect inventories. The center has butterfly nets, binoculars and other aides.