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Eco Minute October 27, 2015

Butterflies play a critical role in maintaining the health of our environment, and they’re arriving in our area now.  Butterflies help pollinate fruits, flowers and vegetables; provide food for other animals; and enrich our lives with their beauty.  But more and more butterflies are becoming endangered as their habitats are lost to development or they’re killed by pesticides. Here's how you can help:  Grow plants butterfly caterpillars like to eat; native plants will attract native butterflies.  Choose nectar-rich plants from which butterflies can drink, such as buddleia, heliotrope, milkweed, mint, verbena, and zinnias.  If your yard doesn't provide enough dense foliage to allow butterflies to hibernate and nest, build them a butterfly house.  Put out some water.  A shallow dish or birdbath will provide the moisture butterflies need to thrive.  

Dr. Enid Sisskin received her PhD from Columbia University in Pathobiology. She has worked as an environmental activist in this area for more than 20 years. She is currently on the faculty of the School of Allied Health and Life Sciences at the University of West Florida. She is the creator of the Eco Minute and has produced & hosted the series 2005. Her interests include continuing to garden despite yearly failure and continues to work for environmental protection with her husband and children. She is also everyone's favorite Jewish mother and stage manager at RadioLive. Contact: enid@wuwf.org.