If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.

- Steve Irwin -

 

Conservation

Conservation is the careful management and protection of habitat, wildlife, and natural resources.  Our Adirondack Garden Club has been a strong conservation advocate and ally, vigilant in protecting our region, the Adirondack State Park, and beyond.   This is the largest park and protected area in the contiguous United States, and is the largest National Historic Landmark.  Covering 6.1 million acres, it is roughly equal to the entire state of Vermont, and is larger than the National Parks of Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Great Smoky Mountains COMBINED [Wikipedia].  Rugged, mountainous, full of lakes, rivers, and streams, the Adirondacks are home to 46 mountains over 4600 ft. elevation, and is designated "Forever Wild" with many pristine Wilderness Areas.


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GCAs Position Paper on Clean Air 

The Garden Club of America’s position paper on Clean Air has identified six chemicals that cause damage to our health and environment.  Five are released into our environment by the burning of fossil fuels…coal, oil and natural gas.

·     Nitrogen dioxide NO2), nitrogen oxide (NOX) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are highly reactive gases that are emitted from motor vehicles and from industry. They are potent because they mix with other chemicals to form particulate matter or soot, tropospheric ozone and haze.  When combined with phosphorous, algae forms and when combined with sulfur dioxide acid rain is created.

·     Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is largely emitted into the air from power plants that burn fossil fuels.  Like nitrogen it combines with other chemicals to form particulate matter, haze and acid rain.

·     Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the greenhouse gas that traps heat from the sun in the atmosphere and thus increases our temperatures.  The burning of coal, natural gas and oil are the key anthropogenic (man made) source of CO2.  Electricity production is the single biggest generator of carbon emissions. CO2 has a long atmospheric lifetime…hundreds to thousands of years.

·     Methane (CH4) is emitted during coal mining and petroleum production and is released from leaks in the drilling for natural gas. 

·     Mercury (HG) is present in deposits of coal and thus any power plants that burns coal releases mercury.  Mercury is present in old thermometers, batteries and light bulbs. Thus, careful disposal is necessary to prevent contamination of our air.

·     Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC’s) are manmade chemicals and are released into the environment from the manufacture of, leakage from and disposal of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment and aerosols.  In 2011, the EPA approved three alternative refrigerants, but more are needed.

The Adirondack Garden Club continues to educate its members and the community on the importance of reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.


Invasive Species - A Serious Threat

Protecting the remarkable and pristine sanctuary that is the Adirondack State Park, the Adirondack Garden Club has been active and vocal for decades in conservation advocacy.  Most recently we have partnered with the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) to promote "PlantWise ADK" to educate about keeping out invasive species. 

Invasive species are plants, animals, and other organisms either accidentally or intentionally introduced from outside their historic range that cause harm to the environment, economy, or human health. In recent years, the rate and risk of invasive species introductions has been exacerbated due to increased movement of people and materials and increased environmental degradation. Due to the lack of natural predators in their new environment and high reproductive ability, invasives can quickly become widespread and out-compete native species.

Significant negative impacts can result from the spread of invasive species but simple changes to behavior are usually all that’s needed to prevent the spread. Learn more about what you can do by watching the short video below:

Following is our partner-produced flyer on Invasive Plants - please click on either of these two pages below if you would like to see them larger, or to print them. 

 

 

Monarch Butterfly Protection

Click here for a GCA paper on what you can do -- right in your own garden -- to protect the Monarch butterflies habitat.

Click here for an article on the philanthropic organization protecting the Monarchs' winter habitat in Mexico.

Protecting Bees from Neonicotinoids

This is a class of systemic chemical insecticides used on farms and institutions.  Systemic means they are absorbed by the plant and come out through all plant tissue, which endangers pollinators including bees.  While they are called safe for humans they affect the nervous system of invertebrates which includes insects. 

But a gardener CAN do many things to reduce and avoid the use of these products - click here for details at Xerces.org.  See also pollinator guides - click here, and gardens with wings - click here

 
  Monarch Butterflies, bees, and all pollinators need protection from Neocinotinoids!

Monarch Butterflies, bees, and all pollinators need protection from Neocinotinoids!


Be the Change

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country. Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how to help support the Leave No Trace Seven Principles.

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

© 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.


GCA Position Papers

What are the Position Papers?

Click here to view them on the GCA website. 

The Garden Club of America has developed a series of position papers to articulate broad goals for advocacy efforts in the public policy arena. Jointly produced by the GCA’s National Affairs and Legislation Conservation Committees, they summarize the issues that are top priority to the Garden Club of America. These papers cover the following subject matter areas and can be read in detail on the GCA website. 

  • Sustainable agriculture, seed diversity, and food security
  • Clean air
  • Clean water
  • Strategies to address climate change.
  • National Park System
  • Preservation of Native Plants
  • National Public Lands
  • Environmentally responsible transportation legislation


Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay. - Sallust -

Snakes and Strawberries

What can the simplicity of a small home garden teach us about the complexities of the world? Perhaps that life is about finding harmony within ever-changing conditions. Recognizing how balance can be created, and when to act (or not act) according to the needs of the environment. In witnessing the dance of snakes and strawberries in her garden, the author of this piece arrives at the quiet insight that when we attempt to improve situations without looking deeper into the effects of our actions, our deeds can lead to more imbalance. Perhaps earth balance, conservation and peace is less about forcing change, and more about finding the harmony in all life. Finding the sweet spot where snakes and strawberries can both find their home on this earth. { read more }