We see this page as a developing newsletter, where we document our Club's commitment to the increasingly urgent need to view everything we do individually and as a group through the lens of sustainability.
Below you will find upcoming events, featured articles, this committee's mission, and the personal journeys of some of our Committee members, explaining what convinced them to be part of this movement. First up is Jacoba Coes.
This Week's Featured Articles
National Wildlife Protection article: "Five Simple Ways to Create Habitat This Fall."
Washington Post: "A couple was sick of mowing. Now their wildflowers are a local attraction."
Other Interesting Articles
Op-Ed in The New York Times: "Turn the National Mall Into a Wildflower Meadow"
Article in Environmental Journal:. "Anxiety and mood linked to bird diversity."
Article in The Cornell Lab: "After The Fire: How A Sustainable Ranch Survived A Natural Wildfire"
Why I joined the Environment Committee
by Jacoba Coes
The Homegrown National Park movement started by Doug Tallamy is based on this fact: in the US lawns are approximately 40 million acres — national parks are less than 20 million acres. To support environmental diversity the movement seeks to convert parts of our yards to native gardens creating a vast interconnected habitat across the US.
This idea inspires me. Starting in the 2000s we transformed our garden. We have added more native plants, use compost (not mulch), use drip irrigation (not sprinklers) and diversified our lawn. We simplified fall clean up using all the leaves in the flower beds and leaving flower stalks standing thus providing insect habitat, winter food for birds and fertilizer.
I have learned esthetically to embrace how the native garden moves and changes year to year and much prefer that to the prior controlled landscape. I love that my yard hums with diverse flora and fauna!
Decidedly not a purist, I still have bulbs, peonies, lavender, roses — all non natives — because I love those. But those plants are not invasive and they provide high quality nectar/pollen. The ecological benefit of a plant is now as important to me as its color.
This committee's mission centers on creating an Act of Restorative Kindness to our earth within our community. Members work to restore, improve and protect the quality of our environment with like minded community partners. This involves embracing new knowledge and science in the field of conservation and restoration as well as challenging current standards of beauty and landscape-care habits.
Chair: Deborah Hirsch
Committee: Andie Bertsche, Jacoba Coes, Marie Donnelly, Karen Fricke, Karen Kadus, Nancy Loo, Sydney Milliken, Sheila Oakes, Imke Oster, Sarah Stransky, Suzy Straten, Michele Trevenen, Sue Young, ex officio Sarah J. Olson.
I joined the Environment Committee because I believe we must expand natives and natural practices to all our yards and our organization and must also influence change in public spaces. Join in and grow your own slice of the homegrown national park!