Jenni Davis of the Nature Conservancy helps Coastal student Colin Johnson transfer a butterfly from his aerial net to a temporary holding container.
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A captured Monarch awaiting its tag.
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This Monarch has been processed and tagged. It’s now ready for release.
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By Drew Ferrier, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies

Have you seen any Monarch butterflies recently?  Not long ago they were one of the most common butterfly species in our region, but their numbers have declined by about 80 percent in recent years. During winter 2016-17, the official population estimate of butterflies in Mexico, where the species congregates over the winter months, was 146 million Monarchs, compared to a long-term average of 300 million, and a peak of 1 billion in the mid-1990s.

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By Connie Ray, Growing for a Healthy Future Project Coordinator, Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic AmeriCorps VISTA, Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies

If you were to visit the Religious Coalition for Human Needs (RCEHN) on DeGrange Street two weeks ago, you’d have found a large, empty lot behind the main building. If you visit it today, however, you will find two large, raised garden beds, 4 feet wide, 8 feet long, and 3 feet high.

These are not your average, run-of-the-mill garden beds, either. These are the realization of an innovative design that directly irrigates the gardens from rooftop runoff that would otherwise run into local streams and pollute our water supply. Instead, the building’s runoff will now be used to grow vegetables for residents of the homeless shelter.

These beds were constructed on Wednesday, Sept. 20 (in 86-degree heat, no less) thanks to the efforts of 16 dedicated volunteers, including six Hood College students, five Aramark employee volunteers, a regular volunteer at the Religious Coalition, three staff/faculty from Hood College, and a Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic AmeriCorps VISTA.

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