Kids plant seeds for the planet as One Flower Project blooms at area summer camps

Celebrating pollinators: Piper Hynes and Ethan Chhabra with sunflowers big and small that will help sustain the creatures that sustain the planet.

After a year as dark as the one we've all just lived through, it's awfully nice to see new bright spots – especially involving kids and the planet – like the one that flashed into my email box last week.

Last Monday, the One Flower Project donated more than 200 seed kits to three Southwest Florida summer camps so kids can plant seeds that will grow a crop of pollinator-sustaining flowers.

Vik Chhabra with campers at the Calusa Nature Center , to which the One Flower Project just donated pollinator seed kits. Special To The News-Press

Campers at Fort Myers' IMAG and Calusa Nature Center and Lovers Key near Fort Myers Beach got the kits. The Project's not-so-secret mission is to give grown-ups - including teachers, counselors, and parents - the tools to get kids outside to learn and help nature says co-founder Vik Chhabra.

Summer campers at IMAG in Fort Myers just got a delivery of One Flower Project pollinator kits. Special To The News-Press

It was the perfect fit for the first week of camp at the nature center, which happens to be Plants and Animals Week, said Environmental Education Coordinator Rebecca Wadman.

Social media firebrand Chhabra is a fierce doer of good in service to positive change. I first saw him speaking truth to power at a public meeting about mining near his Estero home, and later at events benefitting water quality causes.

Recently, he's turned his energy toward planting seeds – both literally and figuratively – in the belief that "the actions of individuals, collectively, have the power to change the world … one flower, one child at a time."

Why pollinators? Life on Earth depends on them. Creatures that help fertilize plants include bees and butterflies as well as moths, ants, wasps and beetles. Birds and some mammals pitch in too. Their efforts help sustain not just natural systems, but human food crop production.

Primarily funded by the sale of pollinator seed packets ($10 gets you four Mardi Gras sunflowers and Sensation Blend cosmos, with discounts available for larger purchases) the group also welcomes sponsorships.

A percentage of the kits' sales gets ploughed back into nonprofits focused on increasing sustainable habitats for pollinators, Chhabra says, which are in steep decline. "Planting flowers and creating a pollinator-friendly yard with native plants benefits many of the most important species on Earth, including bees and butterflies."

Seed packets can be shipped throughout the United States and are available in bulk for classrooms, homeschool curriculums, churches, and other such organizations.

The idea is simple, but simple is good, says Chhabra.

Vik Chhabra and his 7-year-old son Ethan before a box of food donated by neighbors for a micro-food drive Chhabra hosted in his driveway Tuesday, March 24, 2020, to help his church restock area food pantries. Janine Zeitlin/USA Today Network Florida
The One Flower Project donated pollinator seed kits to these summer campers at Calusa Nature Center in Fort Myers. Special To The News-Press

"We want to bring families together to plant seeds and let nature teach them … an extremely simple act all while building a community by using tech and influencers is our focus," he says. "It's time to go big (and) Southwest Florida is going to be our launchpad."

The IMAG's Kelli King sees the camp project as a springboard to bigger concepts the kids can carry with them long after summer's over, as they "learn about things they can do around their home with their parents to help pollinators."

About One Flower Project

Founded in 2020 by Vikram Chhabra and Joel Harper, One Flower Project is a component of Global Hyve, a parent company and purpose-driven organization on a mission to create awareness and rehabilitation of our natural resources.

To learn more, visit online or call 352-572-6702.