From all of us at ACT for Bees we hope you are safe and well in these challenging times.
Nurseries around the country are reporting increased demand for seeds and seedlings as well as established plants as we all adapt to social isolation at home. Whatever the motivation, planting a seed, taking a cutting, growing a vegetable garden, or dreaming about spring flowers, are all acts of hope. And in these troubled times, hope is what sustains us.
Some of us are already acquainted with the joys that a garden can bring. It is not only the thrill of having seeing something grow nor of feeling our hands in the dirt. It is also the sudden bursting into life of flowers and grasses after the recent rain, the light on the dew laden leaves and the dancing of the moving tree canopy. In the ACT, our gardens occupy the territory of many species of wildlife and if we are lucky, many creatures live within the borders of our gardens. It is here that the birds and pollinators and lizards can find food and shelter. In return, the birds enchant us with their antics and song, and the insect pollinators ensure that our vegetable gardens are productive and free of pests. To see the bees busily buzzing around the garden and the butterflies elegantly lighting on flowers is to know that our garden is haven for us and its wildlife. It is also why the urban environment can be so important for biodiversity.
In the ACT we are so very fortunate that so many of us can garden in our yards and on our balconies. As long as there is a garden and someone to care for it, there will be no rest from attending to its welfare. And if like me, you become addicted to gardening, this will not be a drudge but a joy tempered with some disappointments. Our trees and plants are a responsibility to hold for future generations and one way we can do this is to ensure that our gardens are BEE friendly.
This is why The Health of Australian Environment Report published by the ANU, makes for grim reading. It reveals the worst environmental conditions in many decades, perhaps centuries, and confirms the devastating damage global warming and mismanagement are wreaking on our natural resources. You might want to check out a summary of the report at the link below.
A major scorecard gives the health of Australia’s environment less than 1 out of 10
Immediate action is needed to put the global, and of course, the Australian environment on a course to recovery.
The UN’s environment chief has called COVID-19 “a clear warning shot ” from nature, explaining that pandemics could become more frequent if we return to destructive business-as-usual, because exploitation and destruction of natural habitats and ecosystems upset nature’s balance. Indeed, the climate and ecological crisis already unfolding is the direct result of such disturbance and damage – ECOCIDE – sustained over decades.
We now have an extraordinary opportunity to change into more beneficial society/ world community and we want to share a number of initiatives that have been working for the ‘common good’ which you may enjoy exploring.
Please let us know of others (people, initiatives or both) that you know to add to the list. Is there something speaking to you to join in that you didn’t have time or space for before?
Nature connection and curriculum ideas.
Here are some ideas to connect more deeply with the natural world that sustains us so generously. Have you found a ‘magic spot’ near by that you can visit and spend time Being? How does it nurture you? Is there an artistic response you can do? An Andy Goldsworthy Land Art (right) response or drawing? The Autumn leaves are starting to appear and there are beautiful inspiration in Goldsworthy’s images to create your own and inspire others.
Birrigai Outdoor School has created this fantastic Bush Play feast of creative and connection things to do outdoors.
Thank you to all who joined us for our event in February and many thanks to the very generous support from our presenters who were challenged with presenting many years of their expertise in 10 minutes. We were thrilled that Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia turned up unexpectedly to join us and inspire with the final ‘Call to action!’ Many of the presentations are on ACT for Bees What We are Doing page and soon there will be a new ‘Bees, Butterflies, Birds: Maximising Biodiversity by supporting Pollinators with additional resources as well.
Events: This Sunday 12-19th April is the start of Wild Pollinator Count a great citizen science project that needs your help in counting pollinators.