Conservation Beautification Bulletin
Tric Heepe, GFWC Beautification Program Chairman
We have just escaped from a winter where all of our fifty states had snow on one day! Now it is April and our day dreams are about to come true. FLOWERS! From the first snow drop drops that were peeking from the snow, you have been thinking of spring and the growing expanse of colorful flowers. Now is the time!
Earth Day is April22, Federation Day is April 24th, and National Arbor Day is April 30th. Now is the time to start planning activities for your club. How can you do this?
Celebrate Earth Day on this its 40th anniversary. Participate in A Billion Acts of Green™. The Earth Day Network wants you to register not only planned community events for Earth Day, but also your individual actions – your personal "Act of Green”. What a great tag line! You can replace a light bulb with a CFL, walk to work or better yet, as they suggest, plant a native garden (Excerpt from The Earth Day Network website). It is so important to plant only native and non-invasive plant species. Not so sure why this is important? Think about the insects and wildlife that live, eat, and breed in your lawn. If you have plants they cannot eat, where will they go? Plant milkweed for the monarch and queen butterflies. The milkweed diet makes them unpalatable to birds. Contact The Nature Conservancy in your state for a list of “plant this not that.”
While The Conservation Department cannot lay claim to Federation Day, you must admit that we are conserving our history, conserving the arts and our GFWC home is certainly beautiful! Check out ideas for Federation Day on the GFWC website.
National Arbor Day is the April 30th. It is so simple to belong to the National Arbor Day Foundation. For just a few dollars you are a member. You can choose to receive 10 free trees or donate them. Your club members and your club can become members. The benefits don’t stop with free trees. You will receive bi-monthly Arbor Day bulletins. They are full of ideas, facts and the back page is a miniature encyclopedia of trees. Each issue has a featured tree, complete with pictures of the leaves, bark, and flowers. How and where to plant, how to prune, even the wildlife value! Collect them all and leaf collecting next fall will be a snap!
So much of our country has suffered a loss of trees, whether by floods, forest fires, mud slides or ice storms. Encourage your members to plant trees in their lawns or donate them to local parks and national forests. Trees not only are ascetically pleasing, but they remove carbon dioxide from the air, shade buildings to save energy, and hold the soil in place to stop erosion.
This year I have invested in The Old Farmer’s Almanac. After years of hearing bits and pieces of information credited to the almanac, I decided to read it myself. Now, you will not read it in one night, but you will enjoy it and don’t forget to report it to your ESO Chairman! Dad taught me to raise earthworms in dirt mixed with coffee grounds, but did you know that if you put used coffee grounds where you are going to plant carrots it will help repel maggots and provide nitrogen?
Is your garden visited by too many deer? Next time you are at the hairdresser’s, ask for a small bag of hair. Sew a few small pouches of netting or old panty hose stuffed with hair and put them in the garden. The deer will look elsewhere.
Don’t forget to join the National Wildlife Federation and order free seeds from America The Beautiful Fund. You can donate seeds to schools, battered shelters, or the city park.
I hope you have gotten a few ideas or inspired you to come up with different ways you can make America Beautiful! Remember to report your activities.