Community is Conservation
by Andi_T_de on November 25, 2016 - 10:42pm
The article “Markham opens Canada’s 1st Municipal milkweed nursery” is an example of how local initiatives can aid in conservation. The goal of the city of Markham is to increase the number of milkweed plants available for the monarch butterflies as they migrate from Mexico back to Canada. The individuals involved in the project are the City of Markham’s mayor Frank Scarpitti, council members, the David Suzuki Foundation and the students from St. Patrick’s elementary school (David Suzuki Foundation, 2016). The nursery is located at the Milne Dam Conservation Park. This area is used as both a milkweed hotspot as well as a breeding ground to perpetuate the growth of milkweed plants. This is done through harvesting the seeds of the 800 keystone milkweed plants and then distributing these seeds to locals of the community. Through the distribution of these seeds to residents, the City of Markham promotes community awareness about the initiative. The City plans to continue moving forward in respect to creating areas in the future that encourage pollination and butterfly conservation.
This is an important development for the city because it allows for community involvement and togetherness. The act of conservation serves in part with resource management plans, which pull on co-management practices to help maintain conservation attempts. The way this is being done in the case of the Markham butterfly conservation is by calling upon the community residence to plant milkweed. This allows for the people to monitor and assist in tracking the health of the monarch population. In doing so, community members become vital to the success of the monarch conservation project.
This conservation plan also resembles programs that are being implemented by Parks Canada. The Markham monarch nursery uses community awareness to perpetuate the success of the project. This mechanism is similar to Parks Canada’s stewardship programs which encourages Canadians to interact with the wilderness and to help monitor the environment (Parks Canada, n.d.). Through allowing the members of the community to actively plant milkweed, they themselves become stewards and help monitor environmental health.
In my opinion, the implementation of this conservation project is beneficial not only to the health of monarch butterfly, but also other local species. This project can pave the way for similar initiatives, which can help the conservation of other endangered or threatened species. This is important because it diverges from the traditional park oriented conservation ideal. In doing so, it brings conservation into society and introduces the ideal of conservation as an everyday practice. By creating more local practices, the act of conservation will become a bigger part of everyday society. This is highly beneficial because it will help change the ideals of society one city at a time.
Finally, I would like to ask; do you think that conservation should be left to specialists or be the responsibility of all citizens? If it is the responsibility of citizens to govern conservation, what do you think would be the best method to gain the community involvement?
"Markham Opens Canada's 1st Municipal Milkweed Nursery ." David Suzuki Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2016. <http://davidsuzuki.org/media/news/2016/10/markham-opens-canadas-1st-muni....
"Common Menu Bar Links." Parks Canada - Banff National Park - Volunteer Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2016. <http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/edu/benevole-volunteer.aspx>.