The earth is our home.

Each one of us depends on the earth for our health and we must care for the earth so that it will continue to care for us. If the earth is healthy; the soil, the water, the air, the land, and we will be healthy.

This is not an appeal to set aside more preserved land in the form of national or state parks, although I am a big proponent of that. Most of us will only visit these places a few times in our lifetime and some of us may never have the privilege to do so.

That is why we must seek to find our connection to the natural world in our own backyards.

Whether you live on 1/10th of an acre in an urban neighborhood, ΒΌ of an acre in suburbia, or on many acres in a rural setting, those who own or rent homes have the responsibility to care for that land for the betterment of the natural world.

Ecological hospitality is the idea that the water, soil, air, plants, animals, and people that live or visit our yards should be treated well.

WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE IF WE MADE OUR BACKYARDS PLACES THAT WELCOMED AND IMPROVED THE LIVES OF ALL WHO VISITED?

Many of us take great pride in having a lush, green lawn and lots of colorful blooms in the landscape beds around our homes. This is in part what it means to be a good homeowner and a good neighbor.

These are good aspirations, but I believe we can do better in terms of caring for our land so that both beauty and biodiversity will thrive.

Our vision of having a beautiful yard should not just be focused on visual aesthetics. The beauty we seek must also exemplify good health and care for other living things around us.

THE BEAUTY WE SEEK MUST ALSO EXEMPLIFY GOOD HEALTH AND CARE FOR OTHER LIVING THINGS AROUND US.

In order to understand natural beauty, we must begin to think of our yards as ecosystems. An ecosystem is a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.

The overall health of your yard is dependent on the ability of your yard to sustain lots of wildlife by using a variety of native plants. Most of us have not ever considered our yard to be an ecosystem.

It is my hope that you will find this information to be enlightening and helpful in explaining why this is so important and how it can easily be accomplished in your own yard.

Jay Rozelle

Jay Rozelle

Jay Rozelle, M.A. is an environmental educator who focuses on helping to bring natural beauty and biodiversity to our own backyards. He also owns and manages Rozelle Lawn and Landscape and carries out many of his goals for sustainability through his business.

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