Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I was quite surprised to read a press release from National Wildlife Federation (NWF) announcing their partnership with ScottsMiracle-Gro. NWF is a popular national nonprofit. Many people support NWF particularly through their "Certified Wildlife Habitat™" Program to get the sign indicating such.
I have major concerns about an alliance that pairs up an organization that advocates protection of wildlife with a company that makes chemicals, some of which are designed to kill food sources of wildlife. And, since last I checked, runoff from fertilizers was one of the major sources of water quality issues in Florida. Scotts' products include fertilizers.
NWF has its reasons for this odd pairing as described in an interview with Carole Sevilla Brown, none of which has sold me on the idea that this is a good idea and won’t have an overall adverse impact on the environment. I personally feel that the benefit by increasing the number of people reached will be negated by the brand association.
Clicking on the link from the NWF press release page to the Scotts' Website brought up a clickable link which read as follows:
"Have a Lawn, Garden or Home Pest Control Problem".
I don't understand how this fits in with wildlife preservation. I advocate for insects since they are the baby food for bird fledglings. Baby birds, incidentally, can’t eat the birdseed being touted in the part of the NWF/Scotts alliance called "Save the Songbirds". They need bugs, some of which are not to the liking of some gardeners who buy chemicals to eliminate them. But, given the chance at balance by eliminating this pesticide use, insects can be controlled naturally. My garden is proof of that.
While NWF doesn’t support all of Scotts products, I can’t in good conscience support or recommend an organization that partners with a corporation that makes any products which kill wildlife food sources. I don't believe that people will not associate all Scott products with being acceptable to use. It's that brand association thing.
So, I am advocating that if people really want to protect wildlife in an environmentally sensitive way that rather than contributing to a large national charity, that they look local. In Florida, the Florida Native Plant Society (FPNS) is a local nonprofit organization. "The purpose of the Florida Native Plant Society is to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida." This mission, in protecting native habitat, in turn protects wildlife.
When the beauty of your garden and all the butterflies and birds flutter around, you won’t need a sign to let people know you have a habitat which meets the criteria of certification by NWF. They’ll know just by looking at it.
So, please keep your donation dollars local. It will also serve to help the community, as local dollars are used for local purposes so you can see the benefit of your donation firsthand. I’d rather see butterflies landing on native plants than signs stuck in the ground, any day of the week.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
A while back I wrote over at Native Plants and Wildlife Garden about when the wind knocked down a large wax myrtle in my backyard. Since that time, I managed to cut the main trunk that cracked and dragged the large branches to the brush pile on the opposite side of the yard where critters will find safe haven.
Nature has a great way of renewal and I was please today when I was walking around the pond and I saw the rounded crown of a wax myrtle that is growing from around the previously cracked trunk. Wax myrtles are multi-trunked and this replacement from nature looks to be a perfect fit. It won't take long before it reaches great heights like its ancestor and it didn't take much time at all.