I’ve read a few books that bring to light environmental concerns with proposals for how to turn things around. But usually those plans are larger than I’m comfortable taking on, or, I’m sad to admit, more time-consuming than I’m really willing to give.
In Douglas W. Tallamy’s Nature’s Best Hope, the answers to to restoring an eco-system are right in our own back yards. Literally.
A good portion of the book is Tallamy addressing the problems and how the problems started (no surprise – it’s us). While intellectually I knew some of this (home yard care and looking good for the neighborhood, for instance) it was a good reminder as to what kind of havoc a little vanity might be causing.
The biggest problem that I usually have this kind of book is that they tend to be depressing … problem, problem, problem, we’re in trouble … and then the ‘solutions’ are typically out of reach for the average person, or they involve an extraordinary change in one’s personal behavior or habits. But while the problems are well addressed (in this layman’s eyes, anyway) here and thorough, what I appreciated most were some of the potential solutions to the problems.
While the idea of “Homegrown Nation Parks” is a little bit gimmicky, the idea is easy to remember and is ultimately a useful tool. The idea is, in a nutshell, to restore our yards to to their natural environments. But just in case even this is too much (or possibly forbidden by homeowners associations), Tallamy encourages taking a corner of a yard and putting in native plants even if they aren’t the prettiest (or what the local landscaper recommends). The native plant could bring back native insects, which bring back native birds and wildlife.
It’s a pretty simplistic approach but that’s precisely what I like about this book. It isn’t filled with doom and gloom and it presents a do-able plan that should make us feel good about doing something positive.
Looking for a good book? Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas W. Tallamy is a backyard, encouraging, can-do environmental book.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard
author: Douglas W. Tallamy
publisher: Timber Press
hardcover, 256 pages