Bird populations have dropped 29% since 1970. In our lifetimes, we have experienced the decline of insects. Our windshields are now clean of insect spatter. Rusty Patched Bumblebee and Monarch butterfly populations have dropped about 90%, and many other pollinators are in decline. The Rusty-Patched is now federally listed as endangered.
Ladybugs, pill bugs and others live their lives in our debris. Depending on species, fireflies live two years in debris as larvae and fly for six weeks as adults. Many moths and other pollinators overwinter in leaves and plant stalks as eggs, larvae, or adults.
Rake leaves into flower beds and under trees and shrubs (leave 3 inches of space around tree trunks to avoid rot). Leave stalks and leaves in your garden to decompose into free natural fertilizer. If you must tidy, break stalks off and leave them in a dry, protected area, such as under a shrub, to let insects emerge.
Rakes are quieter for you and your neighbors, and better for the environment. Leaf blowers kill beneficial insects, pollute the air with exhaust (unless renewable energy powers an electric one), frighten birds and other wildlife, and blast into the air up to five pounds per hour of lung-damaging particles of topsoil, dust, pollen, mold, pesticides,fertilizers, and animal feces. Protect the hearing and respiratory health of yard workers and passersby and skip the leaf blower.
Improve habitat for birds and pollinators when you Take the Pollinator Pledge.
NHE video presentation for Greener Glenview: why certify as a National WIldlife Federation community habitat
Transitioning from Turf presentation to FLOW (Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed, Columbus, Ohio) lead by Leslie Shad, NHE Lead. DIscusses the issues with turf, why native plants and why leave leaves, the concern about neonicotinoids, and how to navigate outdoor lighting.
Gardening that Matters. Get Started or Enhance your Native Garden. March 2023 presentation to North Shore Senior Center's Tuesday Club. A simple way to take action for climate, community healthand biodiversity: Swap out your lawn for native plants. Reconsidering theculture of lawns. Why it matters, steps to prioritize, how to get started, andhow to amplify the change. Leslie Shad of Natural Habitat Evanston presents.
$25/bag to local residents (pickup; no shipping). We also have some $5 seed packets of bottlebrush and little bluestem grass. While supplies last. Emails should include your phone number and which species you are requesting. Pay by check payable to Citizens’ Greener Evanston at pickup.
Northwestern students Petition for Bird-Friendly Films at Mudd Library. Mudd Library accounts for over 14% of bird deaths and injuries on campus each year. Applying patterned window film to a portion of the building would dramatically reduce collisions that are fatal to birds.