Growing a Natural Yard


Traditional yards are kind of tragic.

I love that instead of a traditional yard, I have a healthy vibrant yard that nourishes all the animals, birds, insects, and people who live and visit here.

It makes me so HAPPY to see my yard teeming with life and to hear the drone of insects and chirping of birds all summer. This choice is a bit atypical and people who have spent a lifetime seeing natural yards as “messy” struggle to understand how I can be so devoted to my yard only to end up with a lawn that looks like an untended patch of prairie. Lucky for me, my neighbors are all super nice. Many of them understand and those who don’t are kind to me even as they shake their heads.

Soon there may be more who understand and fewer head shakers. In a brilliant move, Natural Habitat Evanston, a program of Citizens’ Greener Evanston, has made available yard signs supporting environmentally sound yard practices. They also encourage others to take the “Pollinator Pledge” to stop using toxins and “leave the leaves.” Plenty of adults seem susceptible to peer pressure. Let’s flip the narrative- all the cool kids have leaves on their lawn!

Click the images to learn about creatures that thrive in my ‘messy’ yard: