Early this year, Yale celebrated 9-year-old scientist Bobbi Wilson by entering a collection of 27 spotted lanternflies — an extremely invasive species harmful to trees and other plants — into the Peabody Museum of Natural History.
The young scientist was collecting spotted lanternfly specimens when her neighbor became frightened and called the cops. On Oct. 22, neighbor Lawshe was home, and things in the predominately white neighborhood seemed "copacetic". But at first glance, assumed the worst and called the police department dispatcher instead.
The neighbor was unaware that Bobbi was in fact attempting to preserve the immediate environment as the lanternfly were known for having a negative impact on tree life and other vegetation. "There's a little Black woman walking, spraying stuff on the sidewalks and trees on Elizabeth and Florence," they told the dispatcher.
9-year-old Bobbi Wilson was doing her part to align with the state's Stomp it Out! campaign that urges New Jersey residents to assist in eradicating the spotted lanternfly infestation. She was taught about it at school and made her own version of an insect repellent seen on TikTok. Making her way from tree to tree, Bobbi would spray the bugs, pluck them from the tree and drop th