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LETTER: Think about birds, bees with sports field proposal

'We need to preserve as many naturalized areas as possible, not decrease them,' says letter writer
A pollen-covered honeybee hovers in front of a sunflower in Barrie in this file photo.

BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected] or via the website. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to a story titled 'Sea Cadets relocation, sports field get early OK for south shore,' published May 9. The matter is up for further discussion at Barrie city council on Wednesday night. 

Hello, Mr. Nuttall. 

I am not in favour of the creation of a multi-use sports field on the lakeshore.

Every single scientist will tell you that, due to the fact our birds and insects are declining at an alarming rate all around the world, we need to preserve as many naturalized areas as possible, not decrease them.

We are losing our precious pollinator at an alarming rate.

The UN reported in 2019 that the bumblebee, a master pollinator, as it will forage for nectar, even on cool and rainy days, had declined by an astounding 89 per cent. 

We need our pollinators for our very own survival, as one-third of all the food we eat depends on vegetables and fruit being pollinated by a great variety of pollinators, such as honeybees, native bees, bumblebee, butterflies, moths, beetles, wasps and even rats. 

Research has recently shown that pollinators get most of their nectar from naturalized areas containing lots of native plants, such as the ones you see along the lakeshore, where the grass has not been cut. 

Pollinators, it turns out, prefer a lot of small flowers which you find in naturalized areas and roadside, rather than large showy flowers that you find in most gardens.

Not only do we humans depend on pollinators for our food sources, but so do birds.

As more and more naturalized areas disappear more and more of our birds and insects will face extinction.

We need birds as they are responsible for the regeneration of all our forests. When they fly here and there, the tree seeds they have eaten are dispersed through their droppings. The fertilizer from the poop, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus helps new tree saplings to grow.

As birds decline, so will crop production. Birds are the very best animals we have for controlling unwanted pests that eat our crops. They eat between 400 and 500 million tons of insects every single year. 

Instead of turning our precious natural areas into a monoculture of artificial turf that supports no life whatsoever, we should be thinking about how we can increase biodiversity and not reduce it. 

I am urging you to rethink your plan for a multi-use sports complex and generate alternative solutions. 

As our pollinators and bird decline and become extinct, we cannot generate alternative solutions. 

Gwen Petreman