Coosa Valley Sierra Club presents “Your Yard: A Vital Native Habitat”

YOUR YARD IS AN IMPORTANT NATURAL HABITAT

GWENDOLYN GRIFFIN

GARDENING AND NATIVE PLANT CONSULTANT

TO SPEAK TO COOSA VALLEY  SIERRA CLUB

FEBRUARY 9, 2017

For Facebook event, click here.

We are all aware that there are more people on earth than ever before and, like any species, we have the need to perpetuate our own. This is only natural, but our desires for comfort, speed, and control of the environment mean that we have more asphalt and other spaces devoid of nature than ever before.  One of these spaces, green as it may seem, is the lawn. Mowers, blowers and weedeaters are commonly used to maintain the lawn. These tools all require fossil fuels and create noise and air pollution from inefficient small engines. Even without factoring these devices into the equation, typical grass lawns provide nothing for our native insects to eat.  Furthermore, as was highlighted in Birmingham by water restrictions during the height of our drought, lawns require water. Beyond water, lawns often rely on chemical fertilizers which drain into our rivers.  People have been trained to expect immediacy, which compounds our problem by popularizing imported plants. Non-native plants grow quickly and have no pests and no biological controls. That leads to these same plants becoming a problem all their own. Chinese Privet, which was introduced to the US in 1852 as an ornamental, is now something most of us are familiar with fighting.

 

There is a solution!  Each person has the opportunity on their patch of land to cultivate plants that are native to our area and that support the bugs who developed in tandem with those plants. These bugs further support the many animals (especially including but not limited to birds) who depend on bugs as a baseline source of food in their diets.  There are native plants suited to fit all manner of situations. From shade to sun, dry to wet, and every combination of those factors, there is certainly a plant adapted to grow there. If we look at the many diverse ecosystems that exist on our planet, and how many different plants and animals evolved with those ecosystems, we can see that there is no shortage of choices.  We don’t have to use an army of methods and poisons to make our yard a high maintenance carpet. We can plant an array of color that signifies our place in the patchwork of regional beauty. In turn, we bring even more beauty by supporting the wildlife that depends on those plants.  There is a reduction in resource use and the creation of ecological corridors to support our pollinators. These pathways of survival ensure that farmers will be able to provide our next meal. It is facilitated by bugs, the cornerstone of all life.  

 

Ms. Griffin has been a Native Plant Consultant and Gardener in the Birmingham area for the past 10 years.  She has completed the Native Plant Certification program and is also a volunteer consultant and gardener for the Native Plant Group at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.  Come hear her discuss plants that will be easy to incorporate and maintain in your own landscape and learn how your place on the earth can become part of the solution.

6:30 pm, Room 210, Joe M. Ford Center, 405 Korner Dr. (aka East Cardinal Dr.)

 Connect with Sierra Club: By phone |256| 459 8177 (get info, text, leave a message) fb.com/CoosaValleySierraClub
Directions to the Joe M. Ford Center:  From I-59, take the exit for I-759.  Follow I-759 until it ends at George Wallace Dr.  Turn right, then take the first left onto East Cardinal Drive.  The Joe Ford Center is the first building on the right.