Celebrating Michelle Alfandari’s Remarkable Journey to Biodiversity Champion and the Evolution of Homegrown National Park By Doug Tallamy Est. Read Time: 5 minutes This December, four years after Michelle Alfandari began to build Homegrown National Park as a nonprofit, conceiving its flagship biodiversity map, recruiting its first board members, seeking and hiring our IT consultants, …
Co-Founder Michelle Alfandari
I think it’s safe to say that we could all use a bit of good news these days, something to celebrate. As my co-founder Doug Tallamy often says, “Don’t think about the entire planet’s problems – you’ll get depressed – instead, focus on the piece of the earth you can influence.” Many of you have …
Thanks to RLEP’s [Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection] efforts we can offer everyone the share-worthy, downloadable & customizable brochure about the biodiversity crisis, HNP and what each of us can do to “get started” and get ON THE MAP!
We are thrilled that we have so many entries on the Homegrown National Park® MAP representing acres and acres of land planted native!!
Big THANK YOU to all you early-adopters for taking the initiative to GET ON THE MAP!, for being ‘influencers’, for supporting the HNP call-to-action, for expressing your enthusiasm and encouraging others to get on the MAP. YOU cannot know how much your action and comments mean to Doug and me. We THANK YOU so much! HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!
I’ve been thinking a lot about mud which eventually made me think of other things, including non-gardeners.
As we emerge from the longest, strangest, discombobulating, navel gazing winter of lockdown, spring has arrived. Warm and sunny weather is melting the snow and ice creating a slippery stew of mud and deep grooves on our dirt road destined to splatter whatever you are wearing or driving. Mud becomes a constant consideration for all we do from the least messy way to walk to our mailbox, or the less treacherous route to drive. One day, anxious to get to my second Covid vaccine appointment, I drove faster than the 20 mph speed limit on our unmanageable road, and the mud took over. As I was about to veer off the road, I had just enough time to regain control while considering the irony of a head-on collision with a tree while en route to the life-saving jab.
It’s been five years since leaving NYC and trading in my high heels for muck boots and life on a dirt road. It still feels like freshman year at the University of Dirt Road.
When I traded 40 years of NYC for full time rural country living it was because I had this urgent need to be “outside;” it was more than Central Park or weekends in the countryside could deliver. I, who had spent the happiest part of my adult life traveling for business to major cities around the world, surrounded by humans, concrete and the occasional city park, now had this inexplicable need to be closer to nature.
Based on this rather sketchy notion, my husband Tom and I upped and left NYC. How we landed in a house on a dirt road in rural New England is a story for another time. Suffice it to say that the decision to live full-time countryside had nothing to do with gardening.