Growing it forward

“Homegrown National Park,” is an effort to encourage Americans to plant as many native plants as possible everywhere on their property to help bring back the continent’s biodiversity.

Douglas Tallamy created an aspirational project to repurpose half of America’s lawnscape for ecologically productive use. That would comprise more than 20 million acres, the equivalent of nearly ten Yellowstones. The intention is to unite fragments of land scattered across the country into a network of habitat, which could be achieved, he wrote in Bringing Nature Home, “by untrained citizens with minimal expense and without any costly changes to infrastructure.” The plots wouldn’t have to be contiguous, although that would be preferable. Moths and birds can fly, and you’re helping them just by reducing the distance they have to travel for food.

“Every little bit helps,” Tallamy says. “Most people don’t own 50 acres, so it’s not going to be that hard. The minimal thing is, you plant a tree and it’s the right tree.