Along with becoming Wild Ones Members, many of us have found value in reading Doug Tallamy’s book “Bringing Nature Home“. This book and his philosophy are compatible with our mission and goals and enriching our understanding of our native ecosystems. We think he speaks clearly to the value of homeowner participation and to active conservation efforts. We think he can say it best, so we have taken a quote from his website, http://www.bringingnaturehome.net. This website also contains a link to a native plant finder that recommends native plants used in Tallamy’s research. This site  is hosted by the National Wildlife Federation: https://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder/.

“The Problem
We have destroyed natural habitat in so many places that local extinction is rampant and global extinction accelerating. This is a growing problem for humanity because it is the plants and animals around us that produce the life support we all depend on. Every time a species is lost from an ecosystem, that ecosystem is less able to support us.

The Solution
We must abandon the notion that humans and nature cannot live together. Though vital as short-term refuges, nature preserves are not large enough to be meet our ecological needs so we must restore the natural world where we live, work, and play.

“Because nearly 85% of the U.S. is privately owned, our private properties are an opportunity for long-term conservation if we design them to meet the needs of the life around us.”

New Conservation Goals
To succeed we need to redesign residential landscapes to:

1) support diverse pollinator populations and complex food webs,
2) store carbon, and
3) manage our watersheds.

How can we do this?
Plants accomplish each one of these goals so we must replace half of the area dedicated to lawn with diverse plantings of woody and herbaceous species. But plants differ widely in how well they support wildlife. Native plants support pollinators and food webs far better than introduced ornamentals, and some native plants support much more life than others. Choosing the best plants for your area is the key to success”. http://www.bringingnaturehome.net

Here are some photos from the yards of Cincinnati Wild Ones members showcasing what we can do with native plants to make our yards beautiful and functional while supporting our local wildlife too! Including native trees, shrubs and other plants in your yard help to create a more diverse and healthy ecosystem. Inset photo of Mark and Nan Plunkett’s front yard.