Dita Rudinow is doing her part to help make a difference for the monarch butterfly, and it's something we can all do. A recent relocation brought Rudinow to the Seattle area, where she works long hours in advanced technical support for a large telecommunications company. In her spare time, she enjoys taking her dog for a walk through a nearby park. Last spring, she had an idea to scatter wildflower seeds along her route, and she's noticing some positive results.
The creative idea came to her because she wanted to do more. As a frustrated gardener who grew up in Northern California, Rudinow has always been aware of the issues surrounding the environment. A self-proclaimed "tree hugger," Rudinow was also inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's novel Flight Behavior, which features monarchs as an issue of climate change.
"I pick up a few Pacific Northwest wildflower seed packets at the market anytime we stop for groceries," she said. "I scatter them in places on our walks. I decided to be picky and avoid areas with lawn so they don't get mowed down. I look for spots that will get water, such as near a creek, preferably under trees so there's natural mulch and plenty of sun."
As a result of her simple act, Rudinow has noticed plants growing where her seeds were sprinkled. She believes if other dog-walkers did the same, the efforts would make a big difference. For those without dogs, seeds can easily be carried in your pocket and sprinkled on walks.
"I intend to keep going," Rudinow said. "Might as well do something nice while we walk the doggie."