|Simpson Garden Native planting|
- Phase I
From time to time, I pass by the Bowling Green Community Center on the north edge of town. Recently I noticed signs indicating the natural border landscape was a Prairie Restoration. Wow! This is fantastic. How did this come about and who was responsible? I emailed Cinda and asked her. Turns out she was the driving force behind this remarkable project. Knowing earlier there had been a failed attempt to get the community to accept a small prairie planting at Simpson Garden, I thought there must have some push back before this prairie became a successful effort. Cinda told me that there had been some discontent. Addressing the issues, she published and handed out a small pamphlet speaking about the money savings aspect of this prairie project. No mowing! No costly and harmful chemicals. No CO2 emissions. The community of BG accepted this prairie restoration. Another boost for my hopefulness, a win for the environment, and more public awareness.
|Native Witch Hazel|
Jan Hunter told me to check out Catherine Zimmerman's website. I met Catherine at a talk she gave in Columbus, Ohio several months ago. What an interesting lady. She had been interviewed by Jane Pauly as part of the series Jane did about people who changed careers late in life. Catherine had been a documentary film maker. Going back to school she got a degree in landscape design. This led her to developing an interest in creating meadows in home landscapes. As part of her growing interest in home meadows, she started researching the topic and wrote "Urban & Suburban Meadows". Now using her film making background, she's doing a documentary film to accompany her book. She periodically posts articles to the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog. One of her recent posts highlights how various cities are using native plants and meadowscaping to overcome blighted areas, return interest to playgrounds, and otherwise put underutilized public land to good use. This was highly encouraging to me to see the numerous public projects utilizing native plants to better our way of life. Seeing these projects take hold in public areas and schools, shows me that education is working. Keep those articles coming Catherine.
For me, " Bringing Nature Home" by Doug Tallamy is the the most important environmental book since "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson. Reading Tallamy's book has literally helped to change my life. Prior to reading this, I thought native plants were merely good for the environment because they used less water, required little maintenance, and needed no harmful pesticides. Little did I realize they are absolutely vital for us. So I jumped at the chance to hear him speak in person in nearby Ann Arbor, at the University of Michigan. Inside an hour's presentation, he presented his carefully conducted scientific studies demonstrating the necessity for shunning foreign plants in favor of natives. At the end of the lecture, he stepped out of his role of a scientist. Showing pictures of native wildlife he now finds in his own yard, he made an impassioned and emotional case for using native plants. One study he and some of his graduate students conducted was comparing two neighborhoods. One was a typical suburban neighborhood devoid of native plants. The other neighborhood had started planting natives three years earlier. The data was astounding to me. In only three years time, a significant amount of wildlife, birds, bees, butterflies and others had returned to the native neighborhood. OK! Have I said this before? I'm impatient! But three years I can do. You can't increase your education into the natural world any better than reading and listening to this man. Thanks Dr., Doug Tallamy. .
|White Tailed Deer|