Leave the Leaves, Turn Out the Lights

Most people are aware of the global biodiversity crisis, the shocking declines of insects, birds, and other animals, yet many don’t connect it with life in our comfortable suburbs. Because everything is connected, what we do at home is more important than you might think. Anyone with a house and yard can take two actions that will immediately increase biodiversity by helping the creatures that share our neighborhoods: leave the leaves and turn out the lights.  I’ve never understood why sensible people would remove autumn leaves from under their trees and bushes, only to then pay good money to add mulch and fertilizer. Fallen leaves are nature’s combination fertilizer and mulch, full of exactly the nutrients trees and shrubs need. And regarding “messiness,” nobody walks through the forest preserves in autumn wishing someone would clear out all those darn fallen leaves. Those leaves are what make the outdoors comfortable for many animals, providing shelter, food, and habitat. Fireflies d

Free Webinar: Native Bees in the Garden

I'll be talking about native bees from a gardener's perspective online Sunday, June 14 at 2:30 pm CDT. Excited to be part of West Cook Wild Ones' series of monthly talks! 

Did you know that the Chicago area has some 480 species of native bees? Many of these species are understudied and some appear to be in decline. Research shows, however, that urban areas can be a great refuge for them. Come and learn about the fascinating biology and life cycles of native bees and how you can provide habitat in your garden. 


 



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