Tuesday, April 12, 2016




As the human population skyrockets and human civilization creeps over planet Earth we are seeing the natural environment we have  inherited, being destroyed.  If you look at our cities from the air  they resemble large tumors as they grow out from a central core, consuming everything they encounter. Native landscapes are eaten up and replaced with buildings, green concrete and wallpaper plants. 

We are surrounded by green concrete. It is found in our parks, playgrounds, in people's yards; around schools, corporate headquarters and college campuses throughout America. It encircles our homes in small towns, rural areas and the big cities. We pay to have it "installed"; spend MILLIONS of dollars for toys to keep it in its place; and use MILLIONS of gallons of oil and natural gas products to maintain it. We Americans raise more than 40 million acres of the stuff every year. It is the biggest crop in the country.

Wallpaper plants include mostly alien, exotic vegetation imported from Asia, Europe, Africa or South America.  The nursery industry prefers these plants because they are easy to maintain and provide much of their income. Since wallpaper plants are not native to North America they often do not do well and require frequent replacement.

The pastoral landscape Americans seem to love is an alien, sterile place. Have you ever tried eating the grass in your yard? Right , it tastes awful. Guess what, nothing eats it, unless you import sheep or cows. Oh, I take that back---Canada Geese love it and you can find lots of poop as evidence. The only thing more sterile than the American lawn is bare concrete or blacktop. 

Maintaining this foreign landscape damages the environment and is dangerous to the health of our children and ourselves. If a weed or bug appears we spray it. We add fertilizer to make it greener. We water it when it gets dry in summer  and complain when we have to mow it.  The fertilizers and sprays pollute our waterways; the fumes from the mowers create air pollution; the fuels and chemicals used for maintenance are mostly derived from fossil fuels; the noise is annoying and damaging to our hearing; watering lawns is a waste of precious water; turf absorbs very little runoff from rain storms; and worst of all, almost nothing can use it as a home.

If you insist on a green lawn, why not just "plant" green astro-turf?---it stays green, needs no water or fertilizer and you never have to mow it. Just look at the money you will save.

However if you want to improve your environment, then I suggest you look at your landscape and eliminate some of your lawn and wallpaper plants. Replace them with native wildflowers, grasses, trees and shrubs. The changes will amaze you. Butterflies, bees, birds, mammals and other creatures will be attracted to your territory because they prefer natives.  To start, educate yourself and  visit your local store that carries landscaping materials.  Also there are many native plant sales this time of year. The Manada Conservancy and the Brandywine Conservancy provide native plants to the public.

Join the native plant movement. The planet will thank you.

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