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Rachel Garber Par Rachel Garber

Mercredi, 26 août 2015


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This week I received the Monarch Manifesto from the David Suzuki Foundation. It asks people to pledge to do five tasks to bring Monarch butterflies "back from the brink." So far, 5,000 people have taken the pledge.

The 2015 Monarch butterfly count this winter in Mexico showed that the population level has now dropped by 80 per cent. This is bad news for the butterfly; even worse news for us. Almost 90 per cent of the world's plants rely on pollinators like bees and butterflies for fertilization and reproduction, says Suzuki. Think apples, tomatoes, raspberries, peppers, chocolate and even coffee. In short, about 75 per cent of our food relies on pollinators like bees and Monarch butterflies. All these populations are in serious decline.

What's the problem? A relatively new class of insecticides, called Neonicotinoids, has been fingered. They affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. As part of its new Pollinator Health Action Plan, the Ontario government has passed regulations that will reduce the use of neonicotinoid-treated soy and corn seeds by 80 per cent by 2017.

What about in Quebec? In June, Equiterre and the David Suzuki Foundation gave 36,000 letters from Quebecers to the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change. They are calling on him to ban the sale and use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

What can we do?
For the Monarchs, a huge action that all of us little people can take is to grow more milkweed. Monarchs rely on milkweed plants, and only milkweed, to lay their eggs. As caterpillars, they eat milkweed. Its poisonous glycosides makes them taste so bad they are protected for life from predators.

That's where the Monarch Manifesto comes in. The David Suzuki Foundation is asking for people to pledge these actions: (1) Grow milkweed and other native wildflowers in your yard or on your balcony. (2) Report Monarch butterfly sightings in your community to #monarchwatch. (3) Avoid using pesticides or herbicides. (4) Contact at least one school, faith group, business or other institution about planting a butterfly garden. (5) Call local garden centres and nurseries to ask them to order native milkweed plants for next spring.

The David Suzuki Foundation provides information and instructions on how to do all this. Just visit Think coffee, think apples, think chocolate, and just do it.

Seize the moment to visit the new public market at the Sawyerville Community Garden on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Stop by, and you can pick certain vegetables in the garden. The last market will be on September 26, at the Harvest Festival. If you'd like to participate in preparing for the Festival, or if you're just curious, contact Chantal at, or Jennifer at

Haven't started walking yet? Fall is a good time to step out. Newport's walking club welcomes newcomers. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m., come to the parking lot of the Municipal Hall in Island Brook at 1452 Route 212.

If you have anything interesting to donate to the T-Day silent auction, contact Mary Gunter at, 819-566-5717 or 1-866-5717. Townshippers' Day is at the Brome Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Eaton Corner Museum's board is grateful to all who made Old Fashioned Day possible on August 9, writes Jackie Hyman. "The artisans and collectors, the volunteers, and all those who attended. It was a lovely day." The Museum is still open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., until the end of August. In September, it is open on weekends only. "Over 4000 objects, plus archival materials, photos and portraits await you," says the website The season closes on October 5.

Messy Church. On Wednesday, September 2, the Anglican and United churches in the Haut-Saint-François begin co-hosting a monthly Messy Church for all ages. It's at 5:15 p.m. at the St. Paul's Anglican Church in Bury. "Messy Church is an ecumenical initiative of stories, crafts, food and fun, with story-teller Lynn Dillabough, worship leader Tami Spires, and chef Violet Lister. Families with young children are all invited. Dinner is provided," wrote Rev. Lynn Dillabough, Anglican minister. "This is a free, family friendly event," wrote Tami Spires, United Church minister. Messy Church is planned for the first Wednesday of each month.

Messy Church is free of charge, but please call United Church minister Tami Spires at 819-884-1203 or Anglican Church minister Lynn Dillabough at 819-239-6902 "so that we can set a place at the table for you. All are welcome."

Anglican: On August 30 at 10:30 a.m., all of the Anglican churches will gather at St. George's Church in Lennoxville for a deanery service, with a simple summer potluck to follow. Then the fall schedule kicks in. On September 6, services are at 9:30 a.m. at St. Paul's in Bury and at 11 a.m. at St. Peter's in Cookshire.
Plan ahead to attend the de-consecration service of the Christ Church, Canterbury, on Saturday, September 26, at 2 p.m. The congregation there has made the decision to close (Info: 819-239-6902).

Baptist: In Sawyerville, the worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French. Info: 819-239-8818.

United: The worship service on August 30 is at 10:30 a.m. in Bishopton. On September 6, services return to their regular schedule, at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire and 11 a.m. in Sawyerville. Info: 819-889-2838 (as of Friday, recording gives time and place of services).

As for the Sawyerville United Church's stolen bell, both Rev. Spires and Sharon Moore report that, sadly, there is no news.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by August 31 for publication September 9, and by September 14 for September 23.

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