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What’s in a Plover

My name is Lauren Berg, and I am one of the new summer interns with Change is Simple. I am excited to be learning more about what Change is Simple does, its vision, and the history behind it that has helped to mold it into its present form. My hope is to regularly share some of my findings and observations on this blog throughout the summer.
One of the things I noticed when I was first researching Change is Simple was the little bird doodle in the logo. Upon first meeting Patrick Belmonte, co-founder of Change is Simple along with his wife Lauren Belmonte, I had the chance to ask him to explain that distinctive bird drawing. “That is a plover.”
The piping plover, besides being one of Patrick’s favorite birds, is a local Massachusetts’ species often seen running along the beach. They are shore birds that nest in coastal regions. However, as their habitat has been increasingly lost to recreational use, human developments and pollution, their population has significantly decreased and plovers have been declared a federally endangered species since 1986. Plovers are also considered an indicator species. Their increased or decreased presence along beaches serves to indicate the changes occurring within their habitat, and the health of that environment. A decrease of plovers in a habitat indicates changes that are negatively affecting the environment that could lead to a decline in other species such as sea turtles and other shorebirds.
Plovers are clearly a fitting symbol for Change is Simple, as they are a direct example of a species we will lose if we do not start making changes to help improve the environment. Not only that, but plovers represent Change Is Simple’s focus on raising local awareness and creating local changes, and then moving outwards from there. The piping plover is a local species, literally in our backyards, that we directly affect and can directly help to change for the better. It may seem like a small start to highlight one species out of thousands that are endangered. But change has to begin somewhere, no matter how small, and that is a key idea behind Change Is Simple’s founding.
But that is only part of the reason why the plover is such a fitting symbol for Change is Simple. Another thing Patrick told me that I found most interesting about this drawing was its creation and use in the logo, and how its own personal story is representative of Change is Simple’s origins. Years ago, when Change Is Simple was still an idea that Lauren and Patrick were discussing on their couch, Patrick created a quick doodle of a plover on his iPad. He saved it, and as their idea began to take form and become a reality, they came back to that doodle. They tried several different changes and alterations to it, consulting designers and making their own tweaks, but continued to return to the original drawing, and in the end they incorporated it into their final logo. Just like the founding of Change Is Simple, this bird doodle was a little idea hatched in the simplicity and personal space of their homes that took off and became a powerful symbol for a unique and influential concept.
When I now look at Change is Simple’s logo and iconic plover, I am able to more fully appreciate the meaning behind that symbol. I have a hunch that I will continue to discover many more interesting stories and facts such as this to share in the future. Stay tuned!

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