Every town needs a Matthew Rosenblum, a young activist ready to advocate for the planet. For Matthew, a third grader, “Pollinators can keep the world in balance.” His passion for bees began while watching the PBS show Life From Above. He loved watching the program until he saw images of brown earth where there should have been vegetation. And coral reefs with no wildlife. And then he started to feel sad about that state of the planet.
He wanted to reach an audience in order to educate people on what a brown planet means—and why it’s imperative that bees have open green habitats in order to cross-pollinate plants and flowers. Why does he love bees? Matthew as an answer for that. “Pollinators bring a sense of peace. They are never selfish. They work as a team. They are role models for all of us!” And he adds, “Because, without them, we wouldn’t have yummy treats that we love!”
Matthew’s mother, Susan, suggested that he approach Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty and Director of Religions Exploration Jenna Kyes to share his concerns. As longtime members of First Parish, she knew the community were strong advocates for the health of the environment.
Matthew brainstormed with Rev. Matty and Jenna on ways to spread the word on pollinators, proposing the slogan, “Nature Needs Our Help!” He thought selling water bottles with bee graphics and that slogan, for an environmental cause, would be a great way to teach people about bees and raise money to protect habitats at the same time. He loves that, “water bottles are so popular and they’re reusable.” (His next mission is to advocate for recycling in his grandmother’s apartment complex in Marlborough!) First Parish designed the “Nature Needs Our Help” water bottles and has begun selling them to benefit Sudbury Valley Trustees, which “works to protect natural and farmland areas for wildlife and people in 36 [local] communities.”
Matthew also inspired Jenna’s Religious Exploration Earth Month lessons at First Parish where activities included online lessons on protecting pollinators and local ecosystems; an interactive Zoom presentation by Parish Board Vice-Chair and bee-keeper Valerie Tratnyek, who taught students about bees and beekeeping; and at-home projects to help support local wildlife, such as “bee hotels” and pinecone bird feeders. He is so thankful for his Bug Club friends and to First Parish for giving him a platform to promote pollinators to the greater community.
Look for Matthew leading the field of entomology in a couple of decades as he follows his love of insects, coming full circle from the elementary school Bug Club he founded—to the lab—where he plans to continue to follow his passion for taking care of the planet!
For more information on the Nature Needs Our Help water bottles, click here.