As I wrestle with the question of how to spend my time, here's what I've come to believe. It seems to me much of the world's woes are self inflicted. We've squandered, unwittingly perhaps, the treasures we've been given. We've thought we were owners of these natural resources instead of stewards.
|Small wetland in Marshall County, Indiana|
photo courtesy of Wiki Commons
It is absolutely incredible how many people don't have enough food to eat. The large numbers of children who go to bed hungry every night is shameful. Manos Community Garden http://www.toledoblade.com/gallery/Manos-Community-Garden on the edge of downtown Toledo and situated in a extremely poor area of the city, encourages passersby to pick the fresh tomatoes and take home green beans, squash, and other fresh vegetables. They have also made this into a bird sanctuary and wildlife habitat by introducing some native plants. This past summer they asked our local Wild Ones chapter to help design and recommend more native plantings. This will not only help make a serene peaceful setting, but also increase the populations of native pollinators. These native insects are highly efficient and will improve the productivity of the vegetable gardens. On a larger scale, research is showing benefits to farm production in utilizing native plants to increase native pollinator populations. Native plants help produce food to feed the world.
Health care costs are escalating out of sight, diagnoses of autism and other childhood developmental disorders seem to be on a meteoric rise, and cancer is on an unrelenting march forward. Arguably, but with growing evidence, the lawn and agricultural chemicals we are so addicted to use are linked to the increase in these maladies. Native plants are integral to a balanced ecosystem that doesn't require these expensive chemicals that lure us into believing we can redesign nature for a better outcome. The use and restoration of native plant communities helps to stop the destruction of biodiversity. Native plants are the cornerstone to healthy ecosystems and diverse biological systems. Noted Entomologist, Dr. Doug Tallamy says:
"The ecosystems that support us - that determine the carrying capacity of the earth and our local spaces - are run by biodiversity. It is biodiversity that generates oxygen and cleans water, creates topsoil out of rock, buffers extreme weather events like droughts and floods, pollinates our crops, and recycles the mountains of garbage we create every day."
|Yellow Trout Lily|