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Two Errick Road students make environmental impacts

Wed, Jul 3rd 2019 01:05 pm
Olivia Doktor and Emily Thomas pose for a photo. The Errick Road Elementary duo wrote a letter to the New York State Department of Transportation advocating for the monarch butterfly population.
Olivia Doktor and Emily Thomas pose for a photo. The Errick Road Elementary duo wrote a letter to the New York State Department of Transportation advocating for the monarch butterfly population.

Recently, the New York State Department of Transportation responded to two Errick Road Elementary students who were concerned about monarch butterfly population in the area. 

The two students, Emily Thomas and Olivia Doktor, reached out to the DOT after they researched and found the population of monarch butterflies was decreasing, because highway departments were cutting down milkweed and replacing it with photos. 

The letter read, “We know this was because daffodil are very beautiful, but milkweed can be beautiful as well. It can also prevent erosion. We were thinking that maybe you could plant milkweed on 1/4 of the highway as a place for monarchs to lay eggs. We want to do this because the monarch population is dropping sharply. To fix this, milkweed seeds are only $6 for 100 seeds. Monarchs use milkweed to lay their eggs on and if they have no place to lay their eggs they can’t lay them. And if they can’t lay them population will continue to decrease and eventually the monarch population will go extinct. 

“Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on just one type of plant, and that’s milkweed. Also, monarch butterflies help flowers, trees, and other plants grow. They also help give us oxygen. If we didn’t have oxygen, we wouldn’t be able to breath and we need to be able to breath. Monarchs help us, so why can’t we help them.”

The students asked, and the DOT came through. 

On June 24, fourth grade students and teachers were invited to Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo to help plant milkweed seeds. 

“This event to plant milkweed seeds with the students was planned as a result of the letter sent to the department by two of the fourth-grade students who are concerned with the declining monarch butterfly population,” a DOT release said. “NYSDOT is also concerned about the monarch butterfly population, and started a new study this year with the goal of monitoring select pollinator areas to increase the quantity of milkweed and other pollinator plants along our highways. NYSDOT is also working with the City of Buffalo to delay mowing in select areas to allow pollinator plants to grow, so they can produce seed which will lead to more pollinator plants for the butterflies.”

The students made an environmental impact on the region by planting the seeds, which were donated by the Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm of Clarence, alongside DOT landscape architects.  

 

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