Marquette, MI - Northern Michigan teens are continuing their mission to protect pollinators during 2009 by helping butterflies & restoring native plants to areas of the Upper Peninsula.
The best know, pollinators are bees - like honey bees & bumble bees.
Billions of these bees are dying across the world in a syndrome called Colony Collapse Disorder.
Bees are disappearing & it’s not clear why - although human impact on the environment are among the suspected causes like pesticides & global warming. A world without bees would mean world without food. - as was dramatically pointed out in the Jerry Seinfield 2007 comedy - Bee movie. Bees go on strike causing plants across the world die - that means no food, no flowers, no trees - the death of civilization. After bees, the next best pollinators are butterflies.
Marquette, MI area teens & Native American youth spent the summer of 2008 building butterfly houses - that are longer & slimmer than birdhouses & are lined with bark.
Teens participating in the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Summer Youth Program built & painted the houses at the tribe’s Natural Resource Department along Lake Superior.
KBIC Natural Resource Department Director Todd Warner said the Zaagkii Project is a good way for youth to become aware of their connection to natural resources & nature.
The butterfly houses offer protection to butterflies that can enter thru tiny slits.
Butterfly houses also offer rest to migrating monarchs & can be used for reproduction.
Marquette teens have planted or distributed 26,000 native plant including at the Hiawatha National Forest greenhouse in Marquette.
In the spring of 2009 some of the plants will be planted at several areas across northern MI including at Sand Point - a beach that the KBIC has been repairing from the effects of copper mining. About 100 years ago, the mine dumped copper processing waste into Lake Superior polluting miles of shoreline. KBIC capped the pollution & the native plants will be used to attract wildlife & restore the ecosystem. The Zaagkii Project was founded by the non- profit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette that has sponsored numerous environment projects. The Zaagkii Project is sponsored by the CTI, Marquette County Juvenile Court, KBIC & the United States Forest Service.
Future videos will include a look at a bee farm in Marquette County that fascinated Zaagkii Project teens.
Contributors include: Marquette Community Foundation, Negaunee Community Fund, Negaunee Community Youth Fund, M.E. Davenport Foundation, Kaufman Foundation, Phyllis & Max Reynolds Foundation, Upper Peninsula Childrens Museum, Borealis Seed Company.
Austin, Texas Honeybee video: Johnnie Hargrave
Photos: Richard Burkmar; Paul Billiet & Shirley Burchill
Wikipedia photos: Tübingen-Hagelloch, Björn Appel, Warden, Debi Vort, Kristof Van der Poorten, John Severns, Waugsberg, Kenneth Dwain Harrelson, Derek Ramsey, John O'Neill