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Nature In The Natural State: A Tale Of Two Yards

Consider two yards. In the first, non-native turf grass is the only life. Fossil fuel is used to mow it. Poisonous pesticides and herbicides are sprayed on it. Almost nothing in this yard supports wildlife, save for an earthworm or two living underground and not killed off by the poisons—it may be food for a robin.

In the second yard, an oak tree grows. Over 400 species of caterpillars eat its leaves. They in turn are eaten by birds—a nest of baby chickadees will eat 9000 caterpillars as they grow up. Its nuts feed many types of wildlife, and birds and squirrels make their home in the oak tree.

Which yard is yours, the dead yard or the yard full of life? The Audubon has information on how to add life to your yard.