For years I've focused on gardening with native plants to support our region's pollinators. Every spring and fall I add new host plants for butterfly caterpillars as well as flowers to provide nectar for adult butterflies. Through my art and gardening I hope to educate and inspire suburban home owners to let their lawns go a little wild. Landscape crews that spray poison and use leaf blowers have contributed to the decline of our insect population. But if homeowners stopped some of these practices and planted one patch of flowers, maybe, just maybe we could learn some balance and share our gardens with wildlife again.
For my Interaction Design thesis, I led a group of 5th Graders through the design process culminating in a working digital prototype of a citizen science app. We followed each each stage: research, design, prototype, test, revise and iterate.
And before any of the design process started we planted two new gardens on the school grounds: one pollinator garden and one shade garden. Two years later they are both flourishing. We couldn’t have done it without all our generous donors and volunteer help!
My conservation heroes include Lady Bird Johnson. She worked to preserve natural beauty not only through legislation but also through her own personal efforts. As an homage to her in 2014, I drove from Washington, D.C. to Austin Texas following the route she regularly took while her husband was in office. She wrote that those road trips served as the impetus to pursue roadside wildflower plantings and minimize billboard construction. When I got to Texas, bluebonnet season was in full swing as I visited Lady Bird's beloved Hill Country.
Saving Pollinators through Art, Awareness, and Action
Only through reimagining the suburban landscape and planting pocket gardens of native flowers can we turn the tide for pollinators. Butterflies, moths, and bees are some of the insects most vital for pollination and our suburban lawns offer them nothing for food and shelter. Let’s change that one garden at a time! Together we can do this : )
Through support on Patreon, I’ll plant native flowers, shrubs, and trees in friends, family, neighbors, and school gardens. We can change the suburban concept of a garden from toxic green deserts and mulch piles to vibrant hedgerows of flowers and shrubs. It will take time, but we can transform the suburban landscape one garden at a time.