This map is an interactive community-based visual that will show each person’s contribution to planting native by state, county and zip code. It is a way for individuals to see their efforts as part of a greater whole, as part of a community that wants to do something purposeful and see tangible results.
Nationally recognized entomologist Doug Tallamy and business entrepreneur Michele Alfandari, have launched Homegrown National Park™, a program that encourages everyone with access to a patch of earth to help sustain biodiversity by removing most invasive plants and starting new habitats of native plants.
Doug Tallamy is a professor of entomology at University of Delaware and, for many years, has consulted with the Fishers Island Conservancy on its grassland restoration initiative in the Parade Grounds area. He has also advised Island landowners on the best way to begin planting native.
During his many visits to Fishers Island, Dr. Tallamy spoke about the vast wasteland of residential lawns in the United States and his hope to have landowners plant native species, even on only parts of the properties. This initiative at last formalizes his longtime goal of achieving 20 million acres of native plantings across the United States.
“This represents approximately half of the green lawns of privately-owned properties and is the largest cooperative conservation project ever conceived or attempted,” Dr. Tallamy said.
“Our National Parks, no matter how grand in scale are too small and separated from one another to preserve species to the levels needed. Thus, the concept for Homegrown National Park™ is a bottom-up call-to-action to restore habitat where we live and work, extending national parks to our yards and communities.
“Recent headlines about global insect declines, the impending extinction of one million species worldwide, and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us.
“We are at a critical point of losing so many species from local ecosystems that their ability to produce what sustains us–oxygen, clean water, flood control, pollination, pest control, carbon storage, etc.–will become seriously compromised.
“Homegrown National Park™-Start a new HABITAT™ has no political, religious, cultural or geographic boundaries, because everyone–every human being on this planet–needs diverse, highly productive ecosystems to survive,” Dr. Tallamy said.
Doug Tallamy and Michele Alfandari have launched Homegrown National Park™, a program that aims to cover 20 million acres of formerly green lawns with native plants that will attract native insects, a critical early step in our food chain. Dr. Tallamy has written, among other books, the award-winning Bringing Nature Home and the bestseller Nature’s Best Hope, both recommended as excellent holiday gifts!