Chelsea Thoumsin, The Pollinator Project

Chelsea Thoumsin, the founder of the Pollinator Project, describes herself as an animal lover, invertebrate defender, and budding beekeeper based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chelsea’s long held love for invertebrate pollinators, in particular honeybees, has inspired her to do much more than admire and cultivate them: she is determined to provide year-round food for pollinators up and down the eastern coast of the United States.

In recent years, biologists have noticed that honeybee and bumblebee hives have rapidly been disappearing, a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. These disappearances are all the more disturbing given that pollinator species like bees account for the reproduction of over 85% of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species.

The Pollinator Project is part educational initiative, part environmental activism, aimed at encouraging individuals and communities to plant floral species that can attract and sustain pollinators year-round. Chelsea has already made seed packets that contain a mix of non-GMO annual and perennial wildflowers which she is selling on her website and in local boutiques. Chelsea donates 20% of all of her proceeds to organizations that focus on invertebrate and pollinator conservation and she was awarded a Pay it Forward loan by the Pollination Project, a zero-interest loan that will be paid “forward” to another grantee within 2 years.

For more information, please visit the Pollinator Project’s website.

GRANT AWARD DATE: April 27, 2015