By: Renee Lewis / Source: Fusion
Across the United States, development has put countless native plant species at risk. While this is especially the case in urban or agricultural areas, on undeveloped land invasive plant species still often crowd out critical indigenous ones. More and more, the 40 millions acres of lawn across the country offer an important conservation opportunity for these otherwise marginalized species.
Because of this harsh reality, individuals can really make a difference in the fight to save native plants by using them in their own yards, conservationists say. And the benefits go both ways as property owners can add value and appeal to their land by planting native—creating a win-win for people and nature.
Doug Tallamy, chair of the Department of Entomology at the University of Delaware, thinks it will take a cultural change for Americans to see lawns in this new way.
“Each person’s property is a very important part of conservation these days,” said Tallamy, who thinks Americans have become trapped in thinking of humans and nature as being separate.
“We have to change this to ‘we’re going to live together now,’” said Tallamy. “It means you pick plants that are part of the ecosystem—not from China,” Tallamy said.