Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

World Peace Wetland Prairie won't be affected by clearing of wetland between Hill Ave. and Govt. Ave. but homes on Town Branch will

Veterans Group Adds To Fayetteville National Cemetery

Posted: April 8, 2014 at 5 a.m.
STAFF PHOTO Michael Woods • @NWAMICHAELW The north boundary of the Fayetteville National Cemetery will be expanded after a two-acre land purchase on Monday by the Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corp. The purchase will allow more space for military veterans and their families to be buried.
 — Military veterans and their spouses will be buried in the Fayetteville National Cemetery for years to come thanks to the purchase of roughly 2 acres north of the cemetery's boundary.
The nonprofit Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation closed Monday on undeveloped land between Government and Hill avenues.
At A Glance
Regional National Cemetery
The Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corp. will continue to raise money for Monday’s purchase of about 2 acres north of the Fayetteville National Cemetery’s boundary. To donate to the nonprofit organization, go to regncic.tripod.com or call Corporation President Ron Butler at 479-750-2598.
Source: Staff Report
The group, composed mostly of military veterans, raises money to buy land for the national cemetery, 700 Government Ave. The burial site, owned and maintained by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is one of three national cemeteries in Arkansas. It is the final resting place for more than 7,000 veterans of the Civil War, World War I, World War II and the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The group borrowed about $125,000 to pay for the $205,000 purchase from Capho Investments of Fayetteville. The rest of the money came from state money allotted by Northwest Arkansas legislators, private donations and proceeds from the group's annual 5K race.
"Without that money, none of this would have been possible," Wesley Stites, a member of the Cemetery Improvement board, said.
The land isn't directly adjacent to the 15-acre cemetery's northern boundary.
"We have captured that northern part that could otherwise have possibly been purchased for commercial or other use," Merle Williams, vice president of the group, said.
Ron Butler, corporation president, said the group didn't want to see more land swallowed up by apartment construction. The 632-bedroom Grove apartments opened east of the National Cemetery in 2012 after developers with a North Carolina company called Campus Crest purchased land where the Washington County Livestock Auction used to be.
"That ruined the natural expansion of the cemetery that most people had expected," Aubrey Shepherd, a member of the group's board, said.
The wooded land the corporation bought Monday will have to be cleared and leveled. Butler said it could be another five years before burials take place.
Shepherd said drainage improvements will have to be made, because the low-lying land captures stormwater runoff from surrounding properties.
About 300 burials take place each year at the National Cemetery. The federal government bought the original 5 acres for the cemetery in 1867 to inter the remains of Union soldiers who died in the battles of Pea Ridge, Prairie Grove and Fayetteville. The Cemetery Improvement group formed in 1984.
NW News on 04/08/2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Whitehouse garden now harbors milkweed to feed caterpillars of the Monarch butterfly

om: texasbutterflyranch
To: duffieldben@yahoo.com 
Sent: Sunday, April 6, 2014 4:43 PM
Subject: [New post] First Lady Michelle Obama Gets Milkweed as White House Adds First Pollinator Garden

New post on texasbutterflyranch

First Lady Michelle Obama Gets Milkweed as White House Adds First Pollinator Garden

by Monika Maeckle
Congratulations, pollinator advocates!   Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama added a "first-ever pollinator garden," including two types of milkweed and dozens of flowering nectar plants, to the White House Kitchen Garden.
First Lady Michelle Obama busy at the White House Kitchen Garden where she recently added pollinator plants, including two species of milkweed.  Photo via Obama Foodorama
First Lady Michelle Obama busy at the White House Kitchen Garden where she recently added pollinator plants, including two species of milkweed. Photo via Obama Foodorama Blog
On April 2, during its spring installation, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue added Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata and Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa to the 1500-square-foot garden.  The milkweed species will serve as Monarch host plant as well as a favored nectar source to bees and other butterfly species.
Swamp milkweed
Coming soon to the first ever pollinator garden at the White House: Asclepias incarnata, Swamp Milkweed. Photo by Monika Maeckle
In her remarks to the 25 school children assisting in the planting, Mrs. Obama explained she was adding flowering inedible plants to the vegetable garden because she wants to "help bees and butterflies."  Until now, herbs and vegetables have occupied all 34 of the garden's beds since it was first planted in 2009. 
"A pollinator garden helps to encourage the production of bees and Monarch butterflies.  They pollinate the plants, they help the plants grow," said the First Lady.  "They’re dying because of disease--we don’t even know why some beehives are just totally disappearing."
Ascelpias tuberosa
Asclepias tuberosa, or Butterfly Weed, will be growing soon at the White House Pollinator Garden. Photo courtesy Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center
The loss of the insects "could be a problem for the planet because if you don’t have insects and great pollinators to pollinate the plants, it could affect our food source, it could affect our ability to continue to grow things," Mrs. Obama explained.
"So this garden is going to help to contribute to improving that problem," she said.  "Pretty cool, huh?"
VERY cool.
The addition of milkweed to this symbolic presidential garden must be viewed as a small victory for pollinator advocacy.
Ever since the news broke in January that this year’s migrating Monarch butterfly population plunged to historically low numbers and scientists suggested that the migration may soon become extinct, Monarch and pollinator advocates have been energized, seeking solutions to the decline.
On February 19, the Presidents of the United States and Mexico, Barack Obama and Enrique Peńa Nieto, andr Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, met in Toluca, Mexico to discuss weighty matters of state--border security, economic issues, energy issues, and  immigration.  By the end of the day, they had also agreed to work together to try and save the Monarch butterfly migration, which binds all three countries through the magnificent insects' North American migration.
Now here we are only seven weeks later--enough time for a Monarch butterfly egg to move through its five instars, form a chrysalis and hatch into a butterfly--and milkweed has been added to the White House garden.   
Coincidence?   We think not.
Michelle Obama, please plant milkweed at the White House
We did it!  First Lady Michelle Obama added milkweed to the White House kitchen garden, creating the first-ever pollinator garden at 1600 Pennsylvannia Avenue last week.
What happened in between is a testament to what is possible when individuals and citizen scientists take action.   As written here previously, the NAFTA gatheringgalvanized awareness of pollinator decline.  
Two groups, the Mexico-based Grupo de los Cien Internacional and Make Way for Monarchs here in the U.S., banded together to form the Milkweed-Butterfly Recovery Alliance  and wrote a letter to the three presidents beseeching them to work together for cross-continent solutions to restoring milkweed habitat. More than 160 scientists, conservationists, artists, naturalists and others signed the letter.
Facebook pages were created, petitions launched (including one by the Texas Butterfly Ranch--thanks to all 508 of you who signed!) and organizations as diverse as the NRDC, the Xerces Society, Pollinator Partnership, Monarch Watch, Monarch Larvae Monitoring Project --even Monsanto expressed commitments to help.
Awareness is the first step in addressing the problem and this small garden cultivates attention at the highest level.  This is progress, pollinator peeps.   Let's keep pushing.
Related posts:
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Monika Maeckle | April 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm | URL: http://wp.me/p2fP0i-28Z