Below is a citizen-science project where anyone of any means can become involved to help wildlife and plant communities across our country. Efforts can range from the size of a flower box to entire tracts of varied habitat. Here at the Francis Beidler Forest, we protect the old-growth, cypress-tupelo swamp, but we are also restoring grasslands and longleaf pine forests. Your efforts might not match our scale, but they will be no less important! See Richard Louv's proposal below for ideas on how you can become involved and create a Homegrown National Park.
How to Create a Neighborhood Butterfly Zone — and a Homegrown National Park
Our goal was to revive our struggling yard by planting part of it with species native to the San Diego bioregion, and support native birds, butterflies and bees (especially the California species; honeybees are, in fact, not native) and other insects essential to pollination and migration routes. These, in turn, nurture and grow wild populations of animals and plants.
|Gulf Fritillary - Ricky Covey|
As I quoted him in “The Nature Principle,” Tallamy argues convincingly that it “is now in the power of individual gardeners to do something that we all dream of doing: to ‘make a difference.’ In this case, the ‘difference’ will be to the future of biodiversity, to the native plants and animals of North America and the ecosystems that sustain them.”
He’s not only referring to our gardens, but to your yards — a massive replacement of traditional lawns with attractive and productive native species.
The suburbs have more lawns, but the goal could be pursued in urban neighborhoods, too, through portions of community gardens and public parks, window boxes and rooftop gardens.
But the act of creating a backyard wildlife habitat (as the National Wildlife Federation and Audubon have suggested for years) does capture my imagination, especially if our yard is part of a new nature movement that not only conserves but “creates” nature.