A group in Bancroft is taking the slow and steady route to raise awareness.
“We started small, we started with natural-coloured turtles, and it just mushroomed into Canadian turtles, and British turtles, and all kinds of turtles,” said Heather Brough, one of the knitters with the local knitting group, Knittervention.
These cushy critters are everywhere — on light posts, and perhaps most poignantly, affixed to the courtesy crosswalk signs on Bancroft’s main strip.
“People have stopped by and asked what all the turtles are about, so it’s a huge thing the Knittervention group has done,” said fellow knitter Mel Dureault.
This isn’t Knittervention’s first yarn bomb. On the days leading up to Remembrance Day, Bancroft residents woke to find thousands of woollen poppies affixed to one of Bancroft’s main bridges.
It was that move that caught the attention of Think Turtle Conservation founder Kelly Wallace, who wanted to highlight the plight of Ontario’s eight turtle species on World Turtle Day.
“The problem is the roads, they’re running right smack through the wetlands,” Wallace said.
All eight of the province’s native turtle species are at risk of becoming endangered or threatened. Ontario Nature says a key culprit is turtle interaction with vehicles.
Wallace says she approached Knittervention months ago, after they yarn-bombed the Bancroft bridge with hundreds of poppies for Remembrance Day. It’s a good fit, she says, as Bancroft is one of five locations for a Turtle Walk on May 26.
“The proceeds raised from it, 50 per cent are going to the Turtle Trauma Centre, and 50 per cent is going to mitigation, for turtle underpasses.”
But this yarn bomb serves as a reminder for something else.
Knittervention is part of a volunteer group with the local hospice, which emphasizes community care, and celebrates the turtle’s patient approach to life.
“Just stop, smell the roses, and care about the turtles,” Brough said with a smile.