Beatrice (B): How long have you been involved in gardening for nature yourself? And what are some challenges people face with this type of gardening?
Lyn (L): All my life, I have been making natural style gardens, working on conservation issues, etc. We all know the general public lead very busy lives these days, so it is difficult for the average person to do the necessary research to educate themselves about a completely new gardening perspective. Therefore, it is a real benefit to have some incentive to change the way people think about the way they garden by way of the Monarch Awards.
After judging, I thought it was very encouraging to see many people keenly interested in this award and what it stands for. I do hope this contest will encourage many more residents to garden with nature in mind. The ultimate goal is to think about how we take care of our property because humans have a responsibility to care for the place that sustains them. Humans are but one part of nature's web and education concerning this has been my life's work.
B: Do you think more people are making connections about the big issues of our times?
L: In general yes, there are so many issues connecting humans to the health of the natural world; climate change; food sources & pollinator health, drinking water quality, energy uses, etc. But people often still see the "economy" as more important than the "environment." One goes in hand with the other though -- they are strongly connected. In Hamilton, the Greenbelt is gradually being chipped away in the name of 'development progress' or 'growth.' But when are we going to seriously think about whether our current ideas of progress & growth are making real positive changes for us in the future? We need the biodiversity of the Greenbelt to sustain ourselves. Making connections to health ties humans to everything in nature. I’ve worked with many elderly residents who use pesticides as their 'go to' measure for any type of weed. How do you make them understand that they'd have less contaminated drinking water if they didn't use pesticides so much?