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Suburban Renewal

Kill yer grass! That's not what Doug Tallamy calls for directly in Bringing Nature Home, but he might as well have. According to his research there exists in the continental U.S. only 3-5% of undisturbed area left. Now, he doesn't quite define what this means (I take it as areas of no permanent human activity), but his point is that we have plowed under most of the habitat that used to exist here. We have plowed it under for farmland and malls, for highways and hospitals, but we've eradicated the majority of space that non-human creatures use as habitat. To make things worse in the place of native plants--which are absolutely necessary to life on this spherical rock (all plants are necessary in their proper place)--we have planted ornamentals that have no enemies here (meaning the U.S.) nothing to check their spread and therefore nothing to feed on them, plants that don't support the life that is supposed to be here.
I've covered Tallamy's doom and gloom scenario before and I won't rehash it again, because the bigger message, the more important one is that it doesn't have to be this way. If homeowners would refuse to plant exotic species (I'm not talking about vegetables here) and substitute some of their wasteland of turf grass we could attract insects. Yuck, you say? Do you like birds? Not pigeons, house sparrows, and starlings, but interesting, colorful indigenous ones? Then you need insects to attract birds. Oaks alone support 534 species (147).
Tallamy says that most species can adapt to living in proximity to humans (there are exceptions, of course, wolves and cougars come to mind) and can thrive. Think of the time you'd save forgoing some of your mowing, the fuel, the money kept. It seems simple to me, people.
Lastly, Tallamy is probably ignorant of this point, but he's preaching the Gospel. No, that's not some metaphor, that is the Gospel of Jesus the Christ--see specifically Col. 1:20. Stewarding this planet, more importantly your ecosystem, isn't the whole Gospel (how small that would be!) but it is one that many frequently ignore.
In the words of Wendell Berry--"Practice resurrection."


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