Conservation News

The 60th Annual Conservation Forum sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia in October, 2018 was entitled “The Real Dirt on Pesticides:  Pollinators, Food, and Our Health.”


Russ Britton, founder of Mirimichi Green Express, is devoted to the cultural shift toward sustainable practices in the landscape and agriculture industry. His work has proved that public areas like golf courses and college campuses can be maintained using organic products and methods. Mirimichi products are readily available for purchase.

Pete Myers, Ph.D is founder and Chief Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, devoted to research on links between the environment and health. He asserts that the use of pesticides over the past few generations has had detrimental effects on human endocrine systems and still continues. He cited instances of research that prove these effects. Mice exposed to a pesticide became extremely obese when compared to a control group given identical diets. Dr. Myers believes pesticides play a role in the proliferation of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in today’s population. At least one study has shown that exposure to pesticides has caused a reversal in gender among frogs, with previous male frogs evolving into fertile females. More information is available at

Dr. Richard Fell, Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech,  has been instrumental in studying the decline of honeybees, stressing the importance of pollination on our food supply. While much is being studied regarding honeybees, Dr. Fell says home gardeners can do a great deal to encourage and support other pollinators, such as bats, wasps, birds, and insects. Most important is to use only organic products. In addition, using as many native trees and plants as possible promote more viable ecosystems. We should learn which plants in our yards and gardens are natives and which are non-natives or hybrids, and to make an effort to use more native species. A good resource to consult is

Speakers recommend the following books for the general public: “The Hidden Half of Nature” ,“The Responsible Company”, “The New Organic Farmer”, “The Forgotten Pollinators”

Protecting our environment and health is of utmost importance and everyone can do something. It is a matter of commitment to learning and acting on that knowledge.


Below is the link to the PDF file for Habitat at Home, listing native plants.