On my “green bucket list” is creating a natural habitat on this one acre of ground I know as home. I am surrounded by farmland, highly managed with all sorts of tilling and chemicals, but I know that once upon a time before settlers arrived, this valley was full of woodland, oak savannah, and flower-studded grassland. Birds, wildlife, fish, and pollinators such as butterflies and bees were abundant. My little patch of ground would be an oasis, a gift back to nature to restore a bit of what was lost.
Now, this will not make much of a splash in the great scheme of things but imagine if there was a network of microhabitats such as the one I envision? By converting one yard at a time we can make a dent in our environmental crisis and give ourselves and children more of a chance to connect with nature.
The idea of rewilding by creating natural corridors on small patches of land that provided food water, and shelter for endemic species (many on the brink of extinction) is addressed in the 2019 book Nature’s Best Hope, “A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard” by Douglas W. Tallamy. This book is a handbook to undertake such an endeavor even if you are in a city. It explains the hows and whys to convert your yard to as he puts it, into a “homegrown national park. Instead of landscaping with lawn and landscape plants from as far away as Asia, plant with native species and consider biodiversity.
I am looking forward to undertaking this project. I can’t control what is happening in the world at large but I can control what is happening in my own yard and heal the land beneath my feet.