October 21, 2014

Environmental Lifesavers

Pollinators’ protector. Michele Haszard, 38, a Lehigh Acres stay-at-home mom, creates safe havens for monarch butterflies. She is certified through Monarch Watch, a program that tracks monarch movements and guarantees her gardens will promote the butterflies’ health.
 
Butterfly buildup. Haszard has covered the grounds of her home with beautiful butterfly gardens, having raised and released more than 200 butterflies in the past year. In February at the Happehatchee Center in Estero, she began cultivating her first public butterfly garden.

Sowing sanctuaries. For a butterfly, a night in one of Haszard’s gardens is like a stay at a five-star bed and breakfast. “We rely on these creatures as much as they rely on us,” she says.

Plants in peril. About 70 of the 87 leading global food crops are dependent on animal pollination. However, our animal pollinator populations, such as bees and butterflies, are dying out. This is where Haszard comes to the rescue.

Bringing back the bees. “When I first started my butterfly garden, I didn’t have very many bees. Toward the end of the season, my garden was teeming with them,” she says.                       


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