Friday, April 16, 2010
Save the Butterflies!
Selmians are serious about butterflies as evidenced by this colorful mural painted on an Old Town neighborhood fence.
Ever since local garden clubs realized there weren't as many butterflies as there used to be, education and conservation programs began, and the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail became Selma's official mascot in 1982. Now considered the "Butterfly Capital of Alabama," Selma's efforts spread to the state legislature, which declared April 16 as "Save the Butterfly Day" statewide. Then, in 1989, the butterfly became the state insect.
Selma's Mallieve Breeding is recognized as leader of the efforts and is known affectionately as "Madame Butterfly." She says that an abundance of butterflies means there is balance in nature, but if they are scarce, then their habitat is threatened, most likely due to pollution, mosquito control and aggressive lawn care. What to do? Plant flowers, trees and herbs that are butterfly friendly.
This Saturday, Butterfly Day will be recognized with the third annual "Butterflies & Bridges Run" to benefit Selma schools.