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The traditional approach to designing and maintaining our yards has become somewhat mechanized over the last several decades and as a result, has been harmful to both the environment and to us in several ways. I do not take this lightly nor intend to stir up feelings of guilt or shame for those reading this.

The reality is, most of us who care for yards have not been well informed on the ways in which the design and maintenance of our yards can be detrimental to us and the environment.

I have gained this insight through 20+ years as a landscape professional and focusing my research in studying both traditional and sustainable landscape design and maintenance practices. As a result, I have become keenly aware of the need for change in how we care for the land around our homes.


In my own hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana, I’ve worked for many homeowners over the years and have found that most homeowners have little knowledge of the plants around their homes. Our lawn care practices are influenced by societal conformity, HOA’s and city ordinances with standards for how to care for our lawns.

Education is vital in helping to increase knowledge of the importance of using native plants in our landscaping, reducing the area devoted to lawn in our yards, and reducing our use of chemicals in maintaining our yards.

Your yard can be an oasis for both beauty and biodiversity. It is my hope that you will find this information enlightening so that you will feel empowered to make the small changes needed so that you can experience the wonders of nature in your own backyard.

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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