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ENVIRONMENT

Rain & Shine: Save The Butterflies

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Feras Abdallah / PLA, LEED® Green Associate™
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There are things that we can do and when it comes to butterflies our yards, farms and community gardens and parks can be the difference between life and death for these little friends.

Scientists are finding that towns where people garden in a bee safe manner, convert lawns to food plants for pollinators, do not spray pesticides, and provide cooling shade and flowers are safe havens for rapidly disappearing species of butterflies. Milkweed is an amazing source of life for butterflies and, fun fact its silky fluffy seeds, were used in life preservers in WWII and make a great stuffing for pillows. Other flowers from echinacea, salvia, bee balm, queen anne's lace, parsley, and fennel all are key species that butterflies need. Changing out part of your lawns and planting grasses and pollinator gardens make homes for migrating and seasonal butterflies, not spraying herbicides or other harmful chemicals gives them a chance to reproduce and finally, keeping those leaves in place for as long as possible makes it possible for our fine little flying friends to have shelter and safe places for their eggs to hatch.

Keeping leaves in place through our unseasonably warm and windy spring this year will also help your soils stay moist- bare soil gets hotter faster and loses its water content. Once the days are warmer and the nights no longer freeze if you really need to, go ahead and rake. Just keep in mind that leaves make great compost and that if you are not making it one of your neighbors or a nearby farmer likely is and they would love to get those leaves if you posted on a message board they may even come and get them!