Updated: Apr 18, 2021
Large manicured suburban lawns treated with insecticides and herbicides, and bordered only by non-native ornamentals, degrade local ecosystems and do nothing to support beneficial wildlife who need food, water, shelter, and nest sites to survive.
Above, an example of a managed yard that tastefully uses lawn as a pathway rather than as a dominant landscape feature. Here, the lawn functions as pathway through a perennial garden designed with a mixture of native and ornamental plants, shrubs, and trees. There is a common misconception that yards featuring less lawn and more native plants look "wild" and "messy." Not true!
More and more individual landowners are demonstrating the beauty and productivity of thoughtfully designed and layered ecological landscapes that feature less lawn and abundant native plants that drive food webs and support habitat for a diversity of wildlife species, including wild pollinating insects.
The good news is that restoring biodiversity and viable habitat within human-dominated landscapes is not only in our best practical interest, delivering enormous environmental benefits and cost-savings to all, but is within reach of almost any individual, whether you own property or not, and provides a level of satisfaction and education that delivers immense personal rewards as well.
Land under and around solar installations provide the perfect location to grow native flowers and short-growing meadow grasses that benefit wild pollinators, songbirds, and other wildlife.
Even a small pocket garden planted with a variety of native plants, or a strip of lawn converted into a native plant garden, has the potential to throw a lifeline to pollinator and bird species in search of food and shelter in developed landscapes.