Becoming Part of Something Bigger…

April showers are supposed to bring May flowers.  I don’t know about your garden, but I’ve just got seedlings right now… and very special ones, too.  Go Green Derry and the Derry Garden Club have joined forces to participate in the Great Sunflower Project.  This project is a citizen science project on the conservation of pollinators.  Basically that means we are Garden Leaders and plan to plant at least three gardens in the community with special sunflowers.  Once they bloom, we will then go out to count the number of bees that visit the sunflowers and submit that data.  The data we collect goes to a group of scientists who analyze all the numbers and times across the country and make meaningful conclusions based upon it.  Two of our three gardens will be located at the Boys and Girls club and at the Community Garden at Broadview Farm.  If you are interested in joining our group and having a sunflower garden of your own (and you don’t need a lot of sunflowers and I supply the seeds), just let me know via email and I will be happy to give you all the information.  In the meantime, I will blog about our project as the months go on.

Citizen science projects like this one are great ways to get the whole family involved with observing nature while contributing to large scientific projects.  There is the Spider Web Watch, which asks people to look for, count/observe, and report certain species of spiders – none venomous!  Or maybe you’d rather count fireflies for Firefly Watch, which needs people especially in New England to look for, count/observe, and report the fireflies that they see.  Perhaps observing frogs in the wetland areas for Frogwatch USA is more your family’s idea of nature science.  Whatever you decide, whether it is a formal investigation or just a walk in the woods (with bug spray on), get out and enjoy the natural world Derry has to offer!

Finally, a very grateful thanks to all who worked so hard to clean up the roadsides in Derry!  We counted over 103 bags not including the ones that individuals brought to the Transfer Station all week long!