Public Art Aims to Rewild Buffalo

Filed under: Community |

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative has already brought Buffalo the iconic Shark Girl sculpture and the You Are Beautiful billboards, but its next project will be serving an environmental purpose as well. Jenny Kendler, the artist-in-residence at the Natural Resources Defense Council, has developed Milkweed Dispersal Balloons to help the endangered Monarch butterfly. Monarch butterflies, an important pollinating species, are threatened by pesticides, habitat loss and climate change. The loss of the Monarch butterfly and other pollinators would result in severe ecological and economic problems.
Milkweed is the only food source for the Monarch caterpillar. To help the Monarchs survive, Jenny Kendler is dispersing milkweed and native wildflower seeds throughout Western New York. Kendler fills biodegradable balloons with milkweed seeds and encourages citizens to take them home and pop them in their neighborhood. The balloons are being distributed at various events throughout the summer with the help of a renovated food cart.
The wildflower seeds are dispersed through another project, the Community Seed Stations. Ten news stand boxes have been covered in floral designs, filled with packets of native wildflower seeds, and placed throughout the city. The citizens of Buffalo are encouraged to take the free packets and plant them in their communities. These plants will provide food sources for pollinators, revive the presence of native species to the region, and keep our city beautiful.

Caroline Magavern ’17

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