Smithers youth trying to help out the bees and butterflies

Different groups planting flowers to save insects in danger

With all the bad news going on in the world right now it is easy to forget there is still good in the world.

Good things are happening and they are happening in the Bulkley Valley.

An elementary school is planting a pollinator garden this summer to help bees and other insects. Students laid out their plans to the Village of Telkwa and even enlisted the village’s help. They’ve researched which perennials they will plant to feed bees and butterflies.

A local scout club is also trying to help insects. They’ve teamed up with the David Suzuki organization to create a butterfly highway.

The Butterflyway Project’s mission was to plant native wildflowers in yards, schoolyards, streets and parks to support bees and butterflies.

The Smithers scouts are planting native pollinator plant species in a few raised bed gardens at schools in Smithers and developing educational interpretation signage for the schools.

Tiny insects could use the boost right now.

The monarch butterfly is an incredible creature that migrates from Canada and the United States south to Mexico for the winter. Some fly as far 3,000 miles.

According to National Geographic, these butterflies use the sun to stay on course, but they also have a magnetic compass to help them navigate on cloudy days.

A special gene for highly efficient muscles gives them an advantage for long-distance flight.

However, these butterflies need our help. Western monarchs have declined 99 per cent since the 1980s. They face a number of threats, including the removal of milkweed plants. It is the only place monarchs will lay their eggs and it is a food source for them.

There is hope.

Along with the work being done locally by the youth in Smithers, a new public and private partnership that includes companies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will create monarch butterfly habitat on their migration path.

The program will protect habitat along migration corridors by planting wildflowers along highways and under hydro lines as well as remove threats to the species.

Sometimes it is hard to wonder how we can improve the world or encourage our children to be better citizens of the Earth.

An easy way is to teach them about the environment and head out to plant some wildflowers (make sure they are native to our area) and maybe even observe some of the area’s tiniest yet magnificent creatures.


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