We are always impressed when ‚Äėordinary‚Äô 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‚Äôve 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‚Äôve seen it in Plainville this summer as Roberta Lauria, vice chairwoman of the town‚Äôs 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‚Äôve 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 ‚Äúlightning bugs‚ÄĚ - 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‚Äôs hope. When Lauria‚Äôs group offered milkweed and wildflower seed packets this spring, ‚Äúpeople flooded in to get them,‚ÄĚ she said. And, one by one, they planted them, hoping to save two important species.
That would be quite an accomplishment!