Stepping into the Cambria Veterans Memorial Building ECOSLO volunteers felt immediate awe at the sight of hundreds of native wildflowers that decorated the tables lining the hall. After volunteering at the Seas to Trees ECOSLO Event in Cambria a few of the volunteers attended the wildflower show in hopes of seeing all the flowers that welcome spring. The colors and varying sizes created a diverse collection that greatly surpassed our expectations and made us want to get right back outdoors to see the blossoming flowers in San Luis Obispo.
During the last weeks of April and the month of May, ECOSLO put on our annual Wildflower Wednesday campaign. Every week featured a new flower with a few facts that can be found on one of the many SLO Open Spaces Trails. These trails allow th
e community to experience the different nooks of the county ranging from Bishop Hills to Johnson Ranch during each unique season and change. On these trails you can find a range of flowers lining the paths, popping up between the grasses and hiding beneath trees. They are a wonderful way to remain engaged on a hike and with the pocket size Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo book by David J. Keil one can participate in identifying the flower species.
During the season of the year when all of nature seemingly awakens to absorb the sun rays and warm sweet air I am reminded of theimportance of the ecosystem working as one. Such beauty is a result of the functioning of the surrounding environment, a large part of that being the bees. However, bees are facing many stresses as a result of pesticides, industrial agriculture and climate change making them vulnerable to parasitic mites and causing bee colony collapse disorder. We rely on bees not only to pollinate our flowers but to support over 100 crops, both crops that we consume, but also that we feed to livestock for dairy and meat production. Albert Einstein stated that without bees we would only have four years left to live, an alarming perspective on our reliance on the bees.
Every person has the ability to take action to support the bees and change their fate through a series of measures. One step is to ban all use of harmful pesticides both locally and globally. A second step is to focus on sustainable farming practices that foster biodiversity and rejuvenation instead of limiting the landscapes to monoculture and chemical use. A third step is to educate friends, family and members of your community on the importance of not using exterminators but rather having an expert come to move the hive to a safe location. One can also use their wallet to not support large honey corporations who mistreat the bees and over produce. Finally you can plant bee friendly plants in your backyard and local community gardens allowing the bees to collect nectar as well as install bee boxes to provide them a safe space or home. By committing to put an end to chemicals and practices that put into danger such a wonderful and vital species of our ecosystem we can ensure the longevity of the species survival as well as our own human existence.