November 2014 Newsletter
(There will be no December Newsletter)
Have you ever done something out of your groove? I did this recently and it really gave me food for thought. In researching places to buy pesticide free plants my journey took me to two interesting places.
The first was Farmer D's Organic Nursery on Briarcliff Road, a nice place with reasonably priced plants totally pesticide free! The second was Return to Eden Organic Market on Lavista, the polar opposite of the big Publix grocery right next door.
The catalyst for this journey were Monarchs. I was astounded to learn at our recent class on Monarchs that all commercially grown plants are treated with pesticides and after several calls and visits to stores such as Lowes and Pikes Nursery I found it to be true. Some of these plants are treated with neonics( neonicotinoids)that are linked to bee collapse syndrome and butterfly decline, very serious stuff. The chemicals have been banned in Europe and beekeepers in Germany are suing the Behr corporation that makes these chemicals. If you buy plants treated with neonics it will poison the bees and butterflies that visit your plants and can even infiltrate your soil!
Return to Eden market is rather a sad quiet place but all the products are fascinating, just like this box of saltine crackers I bought. This store is what a market looks like not built on pesticide dependent production. My regular shopping just involves food for me and Raymond and we are both vegetarians, I did my entire marketing for the week at this store and it was a real eye opener! I have been taste testing my new products all week and Raymond loved his wheat sprouts!
You Shop, Amazon Gives!
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support BHNP (or your favorite charitable organization) every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to BHNP!
As you begin your holiday shopping, consider letting your dollars do double-duty! Click the Get Started button, log into your Amazon account and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Blue Heron Nature Preserve, whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.
Knit For Nature
This month, Diane and Sally visited the Preserve to hang all the collected knitting on our dogwood tree. Dogwood berries are an important winter food source for many birds such as the northern mockingbird and American robin.
Susan made bird cards and facts to hang from the tree and they were merrily swaying on this very windy day. Many thanks to Diane, Sally, Susan and everyone who donated knitting for this fun and colorful project!
Our Newly Decorated Front Door
Last weekend, Sally Eppstein our art director and artist in residence, adorned our front door with a beautiful new feather painting. Sally is getting ready for our open house and her art opening on November 22.
And, of course there is a wonderful story behind this painting!
One day, Sally and I were discussing which type of bird feather would be best for the door. And the very next day, our surveyor, Ron Gudger came to BH for a meeting and brought me a beautiful hawk feather he found while surveying our property. It was the perfect feather for the door, exquisite shape, color and pattern! It was just meant to be!
Thank You Pine Tree Garden Club
We had a beautiful day this week working in the meadow spreading seeds at the Preserve.
Volunteers from Pine Tree Garden Club came to help disperse, coreopsis, mountain mint, joe pye weed and common milk weed seeds to support our Meadows for Monarchs program. Thank you Gardeners, we will be looking forward to lots of spring flowers next year!
BHNP is honored to have ‘found-object’ artist and sculptor Dave Savage bring his works of art to the preserve. Dave has been very generous in giving us a long term loan of two sculptures located by the front entrance and by the picnic table next to Nancy Creek, near the main building.
He has more works of art he wants to share, so please stop by the Preserve to see the new sculptures. While you are here, come in and check out the fall art exhibit in the gallery! Call ahead to schedule your Gallery visit: 404-345-1008.
Education Makes Big Impact
What a successful fall! We reached over 300 children with our education programming, ranging in age from 3 years to college students from Oglethorpe University. Some children were return visitors to the preserve, while many others were here for the first time. They walked our trails in search of seeds, mushrooms, insects, birds, and beavers and often left with a few seeds sticking to their clothes or pine straw in their hair. What unified all of the groups was the sense of wonder and excitement they all expressed at experiencing urban wildlife first hand. There was not a bored child in 300, and there were more questions than I had answers for!
This is what urban environmental education should be, the discovery of the awesomeness of the nature we find in our own backyards and the knowledge that there is still so much more for us to learn about it in order to protect it.
Blue Heron is working to create this excitement and awareness about urban wildlife everyday, and we have a lot planned for the winter and spring ahead. We hope you will join us for an education program, one of our Second Saturday Safari talks, or a walk on our trails!
We as consumers drive the market. Will you help shape it for our health and for the survival of Monarchs and other pollinators? Ask for organic plants when you go shopping, buy native plants, especially buy them if they don't look picture perfect, they only look that way because of pesticides. I always let insects help me pick out the plants I buy, if they are on them it is a good sign!
In this month of Thanksgiving, I hope you will hold our world in your heart and take a step out of your groove to help our planet.