Woman's hat with plumage, photo courtesy of Audubon Magazine
Prohibition may not have lasted, but the fascinating story of the formation of the first Audubon Society bears witness to the influence of women. Just before the turn of the century women's hats were decked out with plumes, feathers, and whole bird carcasses. (photo courtesy of Audubon Magazine) This millinery industry was the booming business driving the massacre of egrets, herons and all manner of song birds. Fortunately, a group of women in Boston were outraged by the slaughter and re-defined high fashion and the bird laden hats were declared to be in bad taste. By the late 1890's Audubon Societies combated the feather trade and a conservation movement was formed.
Goshen Pass, photo by Virginia.gov
Another fine example is the Garden Club of Virginia v. Virginia Public Service Co. Seems that the "Public Service" Co. planned to help themselves to the Goshen pass to generate power. After all, who needs a scenic view when there is money to be made? We just might take a lesson from those ladies whose grandchildren are still enjoying the rhododendrons along this riparian corridor.
Today, individual women/men and garden clubs can still make bold moves for conservation. Hold your local representatives accountable for what is happening in our public lands. Join a local conservation organization. Make a difference in your state and in your own backyard..
Request Ohio native plants from your local plant nurseries and landscape designers. Supply equals demand. If we demand the native plants that feed our biodiversity and stop wholesale pesticide poisonings, we will feed the food chain and take a step in the right direction to swing the balance back. Bringing Nature Home is something we can all feel good about.
If you agree this this article, share it with a friend, and let's start a conservation movement of our own!