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Bring back the Green

One of the biggest issues in Menifee, CA would be biodiversity or the lack there of. Biodiversity in Menifee is connected in many ways to problems in my home community. The biodiversity that once existed in Menifee was lush green fields and hills that contained abundant life stretching for miles. Before the arrival of the Spaniards to the area Menifee is now, it was inhabited by the Luiseno people, specifically the Pechanga band. The Luiseno people were extremely successful in exploiting a large number of natural resources to provide food and clothing. They used many of the native plants by harvesting seeds, nuts, and berries to create a healthy and nutritious diet. The land was also inhabited by various animals which the men of the tribe hunted for games and skins. The hunters even used the toxins from the California buckeye to stun fish in order for them to harvest them in mountain creeks which ran down into the valley.

Now the native animals and plant species have slowly begun to die off due to development and the destruction of their native habitats in order to build country clubs and retirement homes. The introduction of a serious drought in California is not helping the diversity of plants and animals increase either. The limited water we have is in man-made lakes which contain non-native species of fish and are teeming with mosquitoes. Animals have been forced into urban areas in order to find food because the plants are unable to produce fruit without a constant water supply. The fruit that is produced is unfortunately too small or soiled to no use. Water as a resource for plants and animals can only be gained through the many irrigation systems and pools that have been developed in Menifee to keep humans cooled down and to water their home grown gardens.

How Menifee Is: 

What would happen if we “Bring back the green”:

During this course, I was able to learn about many of Hawaii’s native plants. For two work projects, we picked invasive plants to allow the native plants to grow back. On another project, we collected seeds to create seedlings of a’ali’i, a shrub on the slopes of Mauna Kea. If the native plants thrive, native animals can thrive as well.

As a teenager I believe that a solution to this problem would be to buy native plants from our locally grown farms and nurseries. With these seedlings and younglings we should plant them abundantly throughout our city in order to bring back the diversity we once had. Organizing community restoration projects to help “bring back the green” to Menifee would be extremely beneficial to our community allowing plant life to make Menifee more pleasant, beautiful, and healthy.

Written by Jacob Taylor, HOI Ahupua’a Environmental Science Student from Menifee, CA.

 

1 Comment

  1. Carole Taylor

    I enjoyed this article since I also live in Menifee. I think we can all help by landscaping our yards and parks with native plants. Perhaps by all working together we can accomplish a more green environment. It might begin with something as simple as pulling weeds from a backyard:)

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