October 12, 2011

A Call to Action: Cultivate Goodness

by: Lysistrata Hall

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This is a special guest post by Lysistrata “Lyssa” Hall, a Landscape Architect I with the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department and one of the principal authors of the Tree and Shade Master Plan as well as the lead designer of the Rio Salado Audubon Center Gardens. Lyssa is an Arizona native that was born and raised in Jerome, Arizona.

There is no denying times are tough and resources are limited, this is especially true for pollinators. A pollinator, at it’s most basic, is a living being that moves pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of a flower to accomplish reproduction. Pollinating species are in decline and this is a serious concern because they play a critical role in sustaining the integrity of the world’s biodiversity and global food web. One out of three bites of food comes to us through the work of animal pollinators.  This is a serious problem with significant consequences and it is easy to think there’s little we can do. Nonetheless, we can make small contributions that can have lasting impact. As the famous Margaret Mead quote goes, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.

So how can you help cultivate goodness in Phoenix? There are a variety of ways to get involved but one easy way is to volunteer your time. Arizona Audubon in partnership with City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, United State Fish and Wildlife Service and Together Green are building a homeowner demonstration garden at the Rio Salado Audubon Center. We are looking for volunteers to get their hands dirty and help green south phoenix.  Volunteers are need every 3rd Saturday of the month from 8 am to 12 pm to help build the gardens. No experience is necessary, tools are provided, and everyone age 10 and up are welcome. The next workday is October 15th at the Rio Salado Audubon Center. For more information contact Cathy Wise at cwise@audubon.org

This garden will not only provide habitat for pollinators and migratory birds but also serves to educate homeowner on how to landscape for wildlife.  It will serve to monitor bird populations as well as provide a learning landscape that connects underserved children to nature. In just a couple hours you can have a significant impact on your community and environment. Please join me and many others on the 15th in cultivating a healthier, more livable and prosperous Phoenix.

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