While the perfect green lawn is the envy of many American homes and businesses, there are numerous benefits to restoring native vegetation to our green spaces. Our film review of “Hope in a Changing Climate” mentioned that native vegetation is vital to an ecosystem’s health.
Plants thrive in the ecosystems in which they evolved as they are adapted to the specific climate and precipitation patterns, and thus require fewer inputs (such as fertilizer and irrigation) than non-native species. Because native species can grow in difficult areas such as slopes, they can be used to prevent soil erosion, anchoring the soil with their root systems and capturing precipitation.
Finally, native plants provide food and habitat for other native species. Protecting and restoring native vegetation is an easy way to preserve local habitat and appreciate the ecological diversity of one’s region.
Image credit: Native Plants, UConn