Creating a greener world, one garden at a time... We are at a unique moment in time when each of us has the unprecedented power to alter our environment globally through action on a local scale. By providing habitat in a pot, a window box, an urban rooftop, a suburban yard, or on acreage, we can create a network to sustain wildlife populations. Through our imaginations and thoughtful actions, each of us can create the world we wish to live in, the world we prefer to leave our children. Yet it is difficult to overstate the challenge before us:
More than half of all North American bird species are in decline, with more than a third approaching critically endangered levels; loss of habitat is a primary reason.
Since 1985, the Chesapeake Bay watershed has lost 100 acres of forest each day, decimating prime breeding grounds for innumerable species, and impoverishing our natural air and water conditioning systems.
Alien ornamentals support 29 times less biodiversity than native plants, creating ecologically inert habitats for our essential pollinating species.
To date, 54% of land area in the lower 48 states has been subjected to urban/suburban development while another 41% is in agricultural use. Alarmingly, this leaves a mere 4% of our total land area in its natural state. Furthermore, these ‘natural’ areas often consist of highly degraded ecosystem fragments bordering our neighborhoods and highways. Subjected to a constant onslaught of toxic runoff, airborne pollutants and invasive plants, these remnants struggle to support ever decreasing levels of biodiversity. Conventionally landscaped areas ae often ecologically inert, and actually add to our overall environmental debt. You Can Make A DifferenceFortunately, with great challenge comes great opportunity. The statistics above clearly illustrate the vital role that our suburban landscapes must play if we are to reverse the current trend toward mass extinctions. With simple steps to create more ecologically friendly yards and neighborhoods, we can all make critical strides to reduce habitat loss, conserve water and provide the nutrient sources that form the foundation of our entire food web (immediately changing that 54% statistic in our favor). As Dr. Doug Tallamy, author and University of Delaware entomologist eloquently states, “We have never been so empowered to help save biodiversity from extinction, and the need to do so has never been so great. We need to plant native plants... Garden as if life depended on it!"