If asked to picture a butterfly, most people would imagine the orange and black wings of a monarch. For the Bird, Tree & Garden Club, the monarch has become a programming staple, nowhere more so than in the Monday series, Monarch Moments & More.
However, the program will kick off today with a larger emphasis on the “more.”
Jane Conroe, a conservationist and founding member of the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, and chair of the Jamestown Audubon Society, will open the series at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, July 2 at Smith Wilkes Hall. Conroe will discuss the ecological past and present of Chautauqua Lake while also giving a glimpse into what the future of lake looks like.
“I’m going to do the very best I can to present the absolute truth and not just as I know it, but as multiple scientists and multiple community members perceive it to be true,” Conroe said.
Conroe said there is new pressure for herbicide use that has emerged. She said the practice was used and abandoned in the past for many reasons; today, she will explain past methods.
“I’m hoping the look backward will be as little as a quarter of what’s represented (at the event) so we can focus on what’s ahead,” Conroe said.
Conroe said she was asked to discuss this topic and that she was happy to do so because the community has been heavily concerned with the lake’s health.
“Go look at the rain gardens, what some people would call very small things,” Conroe said. “But if everyone does these small things, that’s huge.”
Conroe said with the lake, or anything in nature, you grow to understand it, then you love it, then you fight to protect it. Conroe said protecting the lake is everyone’s responsibility now. Therefore, she’s going to do her best to present, with as much evidence and data as possible.
“Do I have magic answers to make this all work tomorrow?” Conroe said. “The answer is, of course not. It’s going to take a lot of people. I’m going to present a lot of small suggestions.”
BTG launched the Monarch Moments series a few years ago and has since expanded the program to include the habitats these butterflies reside in, said BTG President Angela James.
“(Conroe’s) long history with the lake, her observation of the lake and its evolution and her championing of this body of water make her an ideal speaker for the first Monarch Moment lecture,” James said.
Conroe worked with the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy as a paid conservationist for five years, but has recently moved to a volunteer role with the organization. She said she wants to help the general public better understand the ecology of the lake.
“The science is needed to help understand,” Conroe said. “You protect what you understand.”