Experimental Pollinator Site

I am delighted to report progress on our experimental pollinator patch at the site the City had purchased to turn into a park some six years away. We have now identified 21 different species of butterflies at that site! Kudos to the City of Coral Gables for being very receptive to our request that the City stop mowing part of it to see what happens.

Now we have our pollinator patch and a Pollinator sign there. We are working on having another area with pollinator plants that are available in nurseries.

You see our dear planet is in crisis. A UN report on biodiversity and the ecosystem was released last year. It stated that “Up to one million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction”. How did we get here? Well the world’s population has doubled since 1950. 75% of our land environment and 50% of our marine environment have been altered by humans. And the Journal of Biological Conservation states that 40% of all known insects face extinction because of habitat loss and pesticides! AND 75% of our crops producing fruit or seeds depend on pollinators to produce their crops!

Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer wild habitats for these creatures so now it’s up to us to help them out by having our own pollinator patches in our yards and by encouraging our City to plant pollinator plants in our parks and other urban areas. To create your own pollinator patch, go to NWF.Org/Garden-For-Wildlife. You can also watch Dr. Jaret Daniels’ video, “Creating Pollinator Pathways in a Built Environment”.


What are the good things happening that make me feel positive? Well, last week I attended two great zoom meetings—one on harmful algae blooms in our water put on by the UF/IFAS extension service and the other put on by the downtown Miami Chamber of Commerce titled “Resilient H2O: Building the Blue Recovery”.

In addition to all the cool information, you get from these meetings the other thing that really has me feeling good is that business people and elected officials are figuring out that we have to start protecting the environment. In the Chamber event, Mayor Suarez said, “It’s not an either/or, the Blue Economy means that there are a synergy and synthesis of things that are good for ecology and the bay that are also good for our pocketbooks”. The City of Miami has just appointed a Chief Bay Officer who will have monthly meetings with the resiliency group.

THEN, making the connection between environmental thinking and money crystal clear, a giant Swiss insurance company that is the insurance company for the insurance industry—Swiss Reinsurance—is coming out with their new risk index—“the BES index to be used as a basis for decision making in underwriting and asset management to make businesses and investments more resilient”, said JeffreyBohn, Swiss Re’s Chief Resource Officer.

The report goes on to say there are “simple preservation actions” that could be enough to address these environmental challenges. “For example, ecosystem restoration along the coast of Louisiana could reduce expected flood costs by USD 5.3 billion annually” And “steps to ensure functioning coral reefs globally could lower estimated flood damages for 100-year storm events that would otherwise increase by 91% across the globe.”


Swiss money men advocating eco-restoration as a business plan? FANTASTIC!!!! Because it’s not like the scientists didn’t know all this and haven’t been warning us for like twenty years!! No more, because Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, about how DDT was killing birds came out in the ‘’60s. But it takes the business community getting behind it to make it go. Once it becomes a question of profits and costs for your business you get buy-in.

It takes money to execute these ideas! So, we need the business community and the politicians on board to get things done. AND it takes you and me doing the right things in our yard and encouraging our politicians to do the right things in the city. There is still a steep climb to get to where we need to be in terms of the environment—but in my mind—this is a great beginning! AND YOU CAN HELP!!!

About the Author

Linda Lawrence Waldron

Linda Lawrence Waldron currently writes the Green Gables column in Gables Living Magazine. Linda was Chairman of the Garden Club's Coral Gables Library Butterfly Garden Committee.

She is the author of the Coral Gables Library Butterfly booklet (PDF). It gives you the "how to’s" for having your own butterfly garden. 
Linda attended the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, England School of Garden Design.

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