Fall City Cub Scouts launch Pollinator Project

Pack 425 aims to protect and improve pollinator populations while raising money for camps and events.

Birds, bees, bats, butterflies, oh my!

Fall City Pack 425 Cubmaster Kyle Sundet, a career carpenter and retired Cub Scout, decided to combine his passions for service and the environment in his latest small business venture: The Pollinator Project.

“I was listening to a podcast about a guy in Texas who has been researching bats as pollinators, and I started thinking about the Northwest and how I could use my skills to benefit the Cub Scouts,” Sundet said. “The Girl Scouts have cookies, and they do that every year, but we don’t have anything that our organization is aligned with, so we created a fundraiser that the Cub Scouts could do all year round.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, many pollinator populations are threatened by habitat degradation caused by pollution, pesticide use and changes in land use, among other factors. Pollination, which allows plants to reproduce, is an essential ecological survival function for the human race to survive. Pollinators like bees, bats, butterflies and birds are responsible for one in every three bites of food consumed globally.

Working to raise funds to cover the cost of Cub Scout enrollment fees, camps, activities and events, Sundet builds and sells several products — birdhouses, mason bee structures, bat boxes and suet feeders — centered on improving pollinator habitats.

Sundet has taken a special interest in protecting and improving the habitat of mason bees, which are 120 times more effective at pollinating than honey bees, according to Organic Control.

The products on the Pollinator Project website range from $32 to $45. Sundet said the Scouts assist in the building process to the best of their ability and paint them upon request.

Fall City Arts recently purchased several birdhouses for their revitalization efforts at the Art Park in downtown Fall City. The Scouts will paint and install them in June.

“One birdhouse and a mason bee structure aren’t going to save the bees, but if communities can band their backyards, front yards, fences, and pastures, together with little rest stops and houses for these hard-working critters, we can begin to rebuild some of the structure they need to survive and thrive,” Sundet wrote on the Pollinator Project website. “We hope by spreading awareness and getting as many birds, bats and bees housing, we can make a difference!”

The project is also set up to expand its scope by partnering with other Scout packs and organizations in the Valley and beyond to be used as a fundraiser for their individual needs.

“For every purchase that is made, 50% of that dollar amount goes to whoever’s fundraiser it is,” Sundet said. “The rest of it goes to operating and material costs.”

Sundet’s pack also donates a portion of their proceeds to nonprofits including the Audubon Society, Pollinator Protectors and The Bat Conservancy.

Pack 425 will participate in the Fall City Days Parade on June 8 and sell a few of its products. It will also host a free craft workshop for those interested in making pinecone and peanut butter bird feeders.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Sundet.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Sundet.