Today's speaker was Chris Stein, a Rotarian from Stillwater who has also been a National Parks Ranger for over 40 years.  His subject today was "Operation Pollination", an initiative undertaken by Rotary Clubs around the world to restore and support the population of pollinator insects which has declined by 40% globally since the 1970's.  This fits with R.I.'s concern for our environment, which was formally added as a 7th area of focus in 2021.  Our District 5960 Past District Governor Ed Marek officially "enrolled" our district in this effort last year and clubs are being asked to sign on with a pledge to take on work in support of this initiative.  He was impressed to learn that our club is already off and running with a project to create a rain garden in McCullough Park in Shoreview.  Charlie Oltman is leading this effort and has secured a District Grant for $2,500 to begin this work.  The importance of pollinators cannot be overstated.  They are responsible for over 85% of the world's plants and are therefore a critical component of our world's food supply.  While birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, and small mammals can all be counted as pollinators, the most important species are bees.  They perform this vital function by visiting flowers to drink nectar or feed off of pollen and transport pollen grains as they move from spot to spot.