May 23, 2018

By Sarah Sobanski

I couldn’t tell if my tired eyes were deceiving me as we pulled onto Bancroft’s main street late Thursday night.

“What’s all over the street posts?” my boyfriend asked before I could. I blinked at him, glad it wasn’t just me seeing the knitted globes that lined the street.

Then, as we rolled closer, pairs of button eyes glinted in the moonlight.

“Oh my God, they’re turtles!” I shrieked.

And it was true. Waking up the next morning we found hundreds of them all over the town — as did many area residents.

Hospice North Hastings’ knitting group “Knittervention” came together with the Think Turtle Conservation Initiative to turtle yarn bomb the town. They’re raising awareness for our struggling shelled friends. But more than that, it’s working.

A woman approached a gentleman and myself while we were at our respective TD ATMs Friday afternoon.

“Are either of you locals?” she asked.

The man looked at me a little afraid. I don’t blame him, it sounded like we were in trouble.

Turns out she was from out of town, driving through with her daughter who was fond of turtles.

“What the heck is with all the turtles?” she asked.

Turtles have been on the minds of area locals lately, I explained. With the first summer weekend cottagers were returning full force, it was good to remind everyone to be careful on the roads and to keep their eyes peeled for turtles who might lay their eggs in dangerous places.

“It’s nesting season,” I explained.

“Oh,” she said. “Well, my daughter loves turtles and she was so excited. They’re so cute!”

Later that day a group of men from out of town also asked what was with all the turtles.

“We have a small army of knitters in Bancroft,” I told them, waiting as if that should explain everything.

“And you know, save the turtles,” I said.

It’s great to see community efforts receive recognition from the outside world. There’s a lot of hard working volunteers in the area that put our home on the map.

From what I hear, you haven’t seen the last of Knittervention, nor of the of the #turtlebomb. The initiative is raising awareness both for Hospice and the conservation initiative.

A press release by Hospice reported by Sunday a turtle had been stolen by “Squirrels for a Safer Tomorrow.” It announced, “They demanded $50 in nuts and media coverage of their message to keep squirrels safe on the roads too.” If you can affect positive change and have fun doing it, the more power to you. I’m sure Knittervention is already planning their next yarn bomb. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Though I’m not sure how you top zip-tying knitted turtles across the town.



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