Vanishing Habitat Requires Sustainable Landscaping
Ewing’s Green Team and Environmental Commission have created this website for Ewing homeowners who want to learn more about what they can do to live more sustainably and harmoniously with nature. We believe that habitat loss and degradation is one of the greatest threats to the natural world and that we protect our own future by protecting habitats.
It has been reported that more than half the world’s wildlife has vanished since 1970 and that that the “current massive degradation of habitat and extinction of many of the Earth’s biota is unprecedented and is taking place on a catastrophically short timescale.”1 Without wildlife there is not healthy function of the ecosystem services upon which we depend. Are we destroying our planet’s ability to support our way of life?
Our suburban neighborhoods have exchanged healthy native habitats for vast stretches of manicured lawns which contribute little of ecological value. This is simply not sustainable. Small changes in your landscape management practices as outlined on this website will enable you to contribute in the much needed efforts to support wildlife. This will also add beauty and value to your home and neighborhoods and allow you to spend more time enjoying nature in your own backyard.
Wildlife Habitat Canada states, “Without habitat, there is no wildlife. It’s that simple.” And without wildlife, there is no healthy functioning of the ecosystem services essential to ensuring our own futures.
- Novacek, Michael J., and Cleland, Else E. The current biodiversity extinction event: Scenarios for mitigation and recovery,
Gardening for wildlife habitat is critical for our future and that of the planet because it:
- Mitigates climate change (e.g. through carbon sequestration);
- Restores natural capital such as drinkable water, clean air or wildlife populations and helps threatened or endangered species;
- Provides aesthetic benefits: unparalleled beauty, connection to nature, relaxing sounds, fresh air, mental and emotional well being;
- Fulfills a moral duty: Human intervention has unnaturally destroyed many habitats, and there exists an innate obligation to restore these destroyed habitats and ecosystems;
- For practical reasons: low cost, low maintenance, sustainable landscaping on all scales contributes to “environmental capitalism” as evidenced by the growing native plant nurseries, green industries and organizations. Ecology is profitable!!
- And yet another practical and anthropocentric reason: Reduces healthcare costs due to cleaner water, air and soil.