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The 100th Monkey Statue
by Shelley Hoover
March 29, 2009

I have been involved in gardening for both a hobby and as a job for a number of years and also receive your newsletter. Your trips and photos are amazing. Although I have not travelled abroad, I have seen wonderful inspiring local gardens that survive through the cold, listened to amazing presenters/speakers and enjoyed getting to know fellow gardeners, admiring their dedication and the wide range of knowledge they possess, as well as their interest in the environment. I have attended numerous horticultural classes and although the main topics ranged from landscape design to Latin nomenclature and growing vegetables, there was always a common thread, that being the environment. That is why I am writing this article for submission to your wonderful newsletter and website that I know other dedicated gardeners, like me, read regularly.

We, as gardeners have become more aware of climate change, the negative results of use of pesticides/insecticides, and our environmental footprint. In almost any gardening magazine, landscape advertisement or even the daily newspaper, more and more ideas are being presented for reducing our footprint and helping the environment. Suggestions are being made to buy local, reduce energy and water use, belong to a community garden and even plant a container garden on your patio or deck for some fresh veggies or herbs. A television commercial about reducing energy use, shows Dr. David Suzuki telling us that a difference can be made one person at a time.

If we all do a “small” part, we can make a huge difference. All we need to do is to become involved, no matter how “small” we feel our part may be. That is why I am writing this article..…I want to tell fellow gardeners about an amazing gentleman named Dustin Carlson and the cause he is raising funds for. I saw an advertisement in a gardening magazine several months ago, a cute photograph of a monkey statue in the ad made me take the time to read it fully. It really touched my heart about how this young fellow who owns Countrywide Garden Ornaments, in Duncan British Columbia, (a business he started with his family) is trying to raise funds for the David Suzuki Foundation.

Dustin created a beautiful monkey statue out of concrete that is an amazing garden ornament. I can proudly say that I ordered and received mine and will prominently display “him” in the perennial bed once the gardening season arrives. Although I don’t know Dustin Carlson personally, the story behind the creation of the monkey statue as explained in the magazine’s advertisement came after Dustin read the book “Lifetide”, where it’s written that scientists were studying macaque monkeys and everyday the monkeys were fed sweet potatoes off the sandy ground. After eating sandy potatoes for weeks, one day a young monkey washed off the dirt and then taught his mother to do the same. Soon a group of 100 monkeys joined in and eventually the whole colony all washed off their sandy potatoes before eating them. The same logic can apply to sustainability…people catching onto eco-friendly activities…that’s where the 100th Monkey Statue idea originated.

In the advertisement, Carlson says, “Gardeners are among the first people to convert to the green movement, since they are so connected to the land. I imagine people will put the monkey somewhere in their gardens, and hopefully it will act as a small reminder of how everyday decisions do make an impact”. The David Suzuki foundation recognizes that increased awareness, followed by individual support can make a difference in reversing global climate change. “Dr. David Suzuki knows how to help fix the planet. It’s what he does best”.

People can order these worthwhile and thought provoking statues directly from Dustin at www.countrywideornaments.com or phone 250-701-0060, knowing the funds raised will go to this worthwhile cause. They sell for $59.99 plus postage. After speaking with Dustin on the phone when placing my order, it was abundantly evident that his desire and overwhelming sincerity “to make a difference” is a quality that makes me feel proud to be a purchaser of this beautiful 100th Monkey Statue.

Donna, I am hoping that you will publish this article in your next newsletter, and/or add this story and information to your website to draw attention to this worthwhile cause, or create a link to his shop and if so, I thank you in advance. Thank you for anything you can do.

Yours sincerely,
Shelley Hoover

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