In case you haven’t heard, life on earth is in trouble. This is why I am asking you to get on the Homegrown National Park® MAP. Each and every one of us has the power to regenerate biodiversity and we don’t have the luxury of time to do it.
Helping Nature Take Its Course
The natural world we encounter today is not the same world we would have encountered 500 years ago, 100 years ago, or even 20 years ago.
When I was a boy (60 yrs ago), I could count on finding a box turtle, a spotted turtle, and several species of salamanders any summer day on a walk through a nearby woodlot. I would have kicked up scores of grasshoppers in the meadow I crossed before I reached that woodlot, and I never worried about picking up a deer tick because I didn’t know what a deer tick was; I had explored those fields and woods for years without ever encountering one. If I saw a white-tailed deer, it would have been a very special day, for they were rare in north central New Jersey where I grew up. I didn’t know much about plants, but nearly all of the species I walked by in those days were native to North Jersey.
The Newport News Extension Master Gardeners “influencers” are showing off their signs and encouraging others to GET ON THE HOMEGROWN NATIONAL PARK® MAP through their Garden for Nature Program. They have registered 13 sites from their city on the MAP, bought HNP yards signs in bulk to provide free of charge to members who get “on the MAP.” WOW!!!!
We think planting native is a luxury partially because we can take action without asking permission or needing legislation. Sometimes MAGIC happens when permission is sought and a public official, a volunteer conservation organization and landscape architect get together – and that is just what happened in Hastings-on-Hudson.
Small changes Big Impacts. Prairie strips provide a win-win scenario for farmers and wildlife. Research shows that by converting 10% of a crop-field to diverse, native perennial vegetation, farmers and landowners can reduce sediment movement off their field by 95 percent and total phosphorous and nitrogen lost through runoff by 90 and 85 percent, respectively.
Does the following sound familiar? You go to the garden center to pick up some plants for your garden. The plant with big flashy flowers calls to you. You put it in your cart. Then you discover that it comes in several different colors! You put one of each color in your cart. You take them home to plant not really knowing where they will go…but you loved them and will find a place for them somewhere.