Posted by: cindydyer | November 22, 2013

Meeting NAPPC Authors, Artists and Graphic Designers

Screen shot 2013-11-22 at 12.46.13 AMAaron Birk, Sheila Lumi and I attended the North America Pollinator Protection Campaign, Washington, DC, in October. Aaron and I are working on the S.H.A.R.E. Task Force (Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment). We meet via satellite conference calls along with other S.H.A.R.E. partners. This allows us to work from around the United States on pollinator issues.Birk is the author of The Pollinator’s Corridor, a unique book. I say unique because I have no experience with comic book style writing. I found his work pioneering and perhaps ahead of his time in capturing a global food security issue through a pollinator’s eyes. Sheila Lumi told me that the book is about three young men who didn’t see any butterflies or other pollinators in the Bronx. An ingenious platform such as this may even get the younger generation of teens and young adults involved in learning and saving  pollinators.

Present and future generations need to be concerned about pollinator demise. 40 to 90 percent are in decline.  Authors, artists, and graphic designers are coming on board to bring pollinator issues to the front burner. We have to. The federal government, large agribusiness farms and chemical and food processing companies are not openly addressing the crisis.

There is an urgent need to plant pollinator corridors across the United States, starting with America’s federal and state highway system. Every backyard gardener has the ability to create native habitat on private property and can get involved in growing pollinator corridors for cities, towns, villages, public land, private land and city land, which can be planted with native habitat for pollinators.
Set in the aftermath of the 1970’s landlord fires, The Pollinator’s Corridor follows the lives of three friends who attempt to convince wild bees and butterflies to cross the Bronx by planting ‘corridors’ of native flora throughout the industrial wasteland. Connecting fragmented forests, watersheds and city parks, our heroes restore biodiversity to the blighted ghetto by uniting marginalized communities and laying the foundations of ecological health in an age of crisis and decline. This gorgeous, illustrated book envisions a world where human beings live seamlessly alongside native habitats.

The Pollinator’s Corridor is a must-read for high school and college students! A coming-of-age story about three teenagers from wildly different walks of life, The Pollinator’s Corridor is also a tale of botany, geology, soil science, and restoration theory.  It is an ideal companion to your tool-box of environmental curricula.

Aaron Birk began work on The Pollinator’s Corridor in 2003, while employed as a forester in Central Park, NY. In the twelve years since graduating from Oberlin College, Birk has built a career as a professional illustrator, sculptor, and instructor of visual arts. He contributes to numerous publications, including NPR’s RadioLab, The Philadelphia City Paper, and Art Forum Magazine.

Since going to press in 2012 The Pollinator’s Corridor has been exhibited by several major galleries, including Bronx Museum of The Arts, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and Blue Horse Arts. The Pollinator’s Corridor has also won over $20,000 in awards and grant funding. Backers include The Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, The Independence Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, and The Pollinator Partnership. The project received First Place in Blue Horse Arts’ “Plight Of The Pollinators,” an international juried exhibition.

Happy Tonics at http://www.happytonics.com is featuring The Pollinator’s Corridor in our on-line store. Book ships from Amazon and a small percent is donated to Happy Tonics. This allows us to grow our work organically on behalf of pollinators and helps to support other authors, illustrators, and artists in their work. The customer never pays more for items.

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