OUR VIEW: Don't underestimate what one person can do

Published on Monday, 28 August 2017 21:58
Written by staff

We are always impressed when ‘ordinary’ people see a problem and step in to do something about it - without waiting for government assistance or the backing of a large foundation or corporation. We’ve seen it over and over again in Texas this week, as Hurricane Harvey floods the coastline - individuals reaching out, offering a hand to strangers just because they need help.

And, on a smaller scale, we’ve seen it in Plainville this summer as Roberta Lauria, vice chairwoman of the town’s Conservation Committee, took the initiative to creative more butterfly habitats. The hope was that people could create places for honeybees and monarch butterflies whose populations have decreased 90 to 95 percent in the past 10 years. She said the causes of this de-population include pesticide use and the reduction in that butterfly favorite, milkweed, the only host for monarch caterpillars.

We’ve heard a lot about the honeybees and the devastating effect that their loss could have on our food supply. The monarchs make their own contribution in the beauty they bring to our gardens. If they were to disappear, what a loss it would be, especially since the light of fireflies - or what some call “lightning bugs” - has already dimmed, due to a combination of habitat degradation and loss, light pollution, destruction of water tables, and pesticides, according to The Scientific American.

But there’s hope. When Lauria’s group offered milkweed and wildflower seed packets this spring, “people flooded in to get them,” she said. And, one by one, they planted them, hoping to save two important species.

That would be quite an accomplishment!

Posted in The Bristol Press, Editorials on Monday, 28 August 2017 21:58. Updated: Monday, 28 August 2017 22:01.