Mercedes had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Ms. Becker's class via Skype all the way to Columbia. We talked about nonprofits and their importance, and how ConserVANtion works. We discussed how we get folks to connect with nature thru environmental stewardship.
News stories highlight all of the trash piling up and littering the parks. Well, ConserVANtion decided to do something about it! Our Co-Founder, Jordan McMahon packed up the van, and headed out to Utah.
But this sparked an idea in Jordan's mind, why not do something positive about it, and help clean our parks, to prevent further degradation! Jordan drove over 500 miles in our 1983 VW Vanagon to visit Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef National Parks, picking up the rapidly-accumulating trash along the way. We hope this can spark a positive movement towards keeping our natural spaces clean.
This story was covered in the local news. Check out the story overage here or the video that aired on KKTV News 11!
It was Festival Time in the Virgin Islands, a time for celebration! But the parade left the streets littered with plastic cups, styrofoam plates, confetti, you name it. So ConserVANtion held a beach clean-up to try and prevent some of that trash from entering our beautiful oceans.
Most recently, we took a ConserVANtion trip down to Trinidad, Colorado to visit the Trinidad History Museum. We were lucky enough to be invited to put on a, 'Going Green' event. We got the opportunity to teach kids about:
-where our food comes from,
-the water cycle,
We had some great hands-on activities for the kids! We brought them a tomato to plant in their local history museum garden. Now they'll be able to water it every day at summer school and reap the benefits of their gardening. Not only that, but each of the kids received their own tomato plant to take home and plant with their families. We love the idea of teaching youth so that they can then go home and teach their families something too!
One of our parting gifts to the kids was milkweed seeds, Asclepias speciosa, that they could go home and plant as well. We taught them about Monarch migrations and how the caterpillars can ONLY eat milkweed plants. That's why our Monarch populations need milkweed plants to serve as stopping points during their migrations. One of our more fun facts we like to teach folks is that Monarchs self-medicate! Different milkweed plants contain various amounts of cardenolides, a toxin to us, but a medication for Monarch caterpillars to keep parasitic wasps away.
Now these kids can help our Monarchs thrive, grow their own organic gardens, conserve water, limit pollution, and make our future look just a little bit brighter!
If you have any ideas for an event you would like to see us put on, or a topic you would like us to blog about, send us an email at conserVANtion@gmail.com. Thank you for reading! We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit ran merely on generous donations. If you are interested in donating, you can do so here:
"Ever heard of plogging? While you go for your morning jog, you merely pick up trash along your route. It’s a win-win for you and our planet! Plogging comes from the Swedish “plocka upp,” which means to pick up (litter) combined with jogging.
Come help ConserVANtion celebrate our planet this Earth Day with a little plogging of your own. Challenge yourself to 45 minutes where you’re free to walk, jog, run, sprint, whatever you choose. All participants will be given a bag, seeing as this is Earth Day and all, to pick up trash along their path. Feel free to bring your own bag for trash, otherwise we’ll have some available too!
This was a FREE event."
Thank you to our 16 wonderful volunteers who braved the cold, cloudy, rainy day for our Earth! We picked up collectively more than 15 pounds of trash on our local riverwalk in Canon City, CO.
Prairies now consist of as little as 1% of what they once were. We brought together a group of 38 volunteers consisting of undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty. Our volunteers represented Mississippi State University and multiple departments: biology, forestry, wildlife, entomology, engineering, and more! We went out to Osborn Prairie of the Black Belt Prairie in Mississippi where we rid about three acres of invasive redcedar and planted 100 side-oat grama native prairie grasses in eroded areas.
After writing a ConserVANtion blog about the Aldo Leopold Foundation while home in Wisconsin, Mercedes managed to draw the attention of Les Stroud. This caused a line of events to occur, including Les Stroud to perform for the Aldo Leopold bi-annual Land Ethic Conference where she was lucky enough to introduce him prior to his musical performance.
ConserVANtion is a non-profit, striving to get people outdoors, working hard and building a sense of community to establish a connection with local lands. Our mission is to instill a passion for conservation, preservation, and restoration of our environment through stewardship and education. Our recent prairie restoration event accomplished these goals, instilling a lasting love for the lands which we seek to protect.