- to enjoy suburban and urban yards as part of the natural ecosystem
- to support native pollinators and wildlife
- to create landscapes that take carbon out of the air
- to minimize practices that put carbon into the air or use pesticides and herbicides
- to create healthy water systems
- to sustain and encourage native food sources
Benefits: Why do we care about transitioning our yards to native habitat?
- A healthy native ecosystem supports native pollinators, which are needed to assure healthy and sustainable crops.
- A native ecosystem, such as an Eastern Deciduous Forest or a meadow, sequesters more carbon than a lawn.
- A native ecosystem, with its deeper root system than lawns, reduces water runoff and creates a healthier watershed and aquifer, costing less to obtain clean drinking water.
- Herbaceous plants and trees, because of their greater leaf surface area, clean more pollutants from the air and give us more oxygen to breath than lawns.
- Plant diversity protects against plant disease, leading to less use of pesticides and herbicides.
- Native plantings, since they have evolved to fit the local climate and soil conditions, require less time and care.
- Native plantings support the local native ecosystem, which in turn can provide us with food, pharmaceuticals and a sense of place.
- Many of the anticipated risks of climate change are associated with changes in biodiversity, such as infectious disease vectors or food resources.
- Native plantings support more wildlife, giving us the joy of watching butterflies, birds and other co-inhabitants of our planet.
- Native landscapes are more sustainable, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Suburban sprawl fragments the wild lands.
Solution: Landscape suburban yards to increase the wildlife corridors, planting those species that provide food, nesting and shelter.
Buildings and roads create impervious surfaces.
Solutions: Use pervious surfaces, green roofs, rain gardens, rain barrels and other means to sequester the rainwater on site in order to provide a healthy aquifer for the wildlife and ourselves.
Use of herbicides, pesticides and antiquated gardening techniques poisons our land, water and wildlife and ourselves.
Solutions: Use organic or other gardening practices that reduce reliance on chemicals. Learn to identify native plants and only treat invasive/non-native plants as weeds. Enjoy the insects in your garden, using insect predators to control the invasive or antagonistic insects.